Tim Hortons Eco Initiative


 August 29th, we began Waste Free in Windsor’s (WFIW) Tim Hortons Eco Initiative.

Our Plan: Give Tim Hortons restaurant’s the opportunity and knowledge to implement simple practices to be more environmentally conscious.

Our Action: First, we visited a Tim Hortons restaurant who were already eco experts. Then we visited four more Tim Hortons where we gave suggestions, and received a great amount of support from the employees.

We know how to recycle ourselves, but we thought it would be a good idea to see specifically how a Tim Hortons store can be run with recycling as a priority.

This is what we learned from the experts:

The Lasalle Tim Hortons on Malden has been recognized by Essex-Windsor Solid Waste Authority (EWSWA) for their recycling efforts. The store is owned by Sue and Jon Schroeder, and managed by Suzie Dufour.

Rosanna Demarco, Allie Miner
We took a picture on our way in to see their EWSWA sticker.

Dufour, explained that the store decided to bring change Sue Schroeder she came across a newspaper article in the Windsor Star about EWSWA. Schroeder brought this to the attention of Dufour who helped the rest of the store begin to follow EWSWA’s guidelines.

Rosanna Demarco, Allie Miner, Suzie Dufour
Manager, Suzie Dufour

Unlike some of the other Tim Hortons we had visited, the indoor receptacles at the Malden Timmies has separate slots for plastics, paper, and waste.

Rosanna Demarco, Allie Miner
The receptacles are originally made to have two waste containers and only one spot for recyclables, but that did not stop Suzie for making room for paper recycling!!

It is important that the Schroeder’s Tim Hortons sorts their recycles because EWSWA cannot do it for us–businesses or residences. When the recycle truck has two separate spots in it–one for blue bin materials and one for red bin materials. It is OUR responsibility to sort the recyclables. Once the recycles arrive at the plant, the red bin materials are dropped off at one building and the blue bin materials are dropped off at another. This means that materials brought to the wrong building are thrown in the garbage, and our efforts to recycle are gone to waste.

Next, the slots for recycling do not have plastic bags inside them which means customers can place their items loosely inside of the bin.  All of these bins are emptied in their outdoor container for pick-up.

Rosanna Demarco, Allie Miner
This is exactly what Windsor-Essex Solid Waste Authority likes to see when collecting residential and business recycles–LOOSE ITEMS!

If you don’t know, EWSWA’s plant cannot accommodate for recyclables coming in, inside of plastic bags. When the plant receives plastic bags on the line it often gets stuck inside of the machine. Also the line workers must rip open the bag and sort through the bags. When there are too many plastic bags at once, many of the full plastic bags end up in the garbage–AKA recycles end up in the garbage. This is for residential recycling too!

Tim Horton’s head office requires all recycle and waste bins to have bags; however, Dufour has explained that because this location is environmentally conscious, the rule does not apply to them. To get head office on board, she simply explained she was respecting the needs of the city’s recycling company.

We are very happy and thankful that Suzie Dufour welcomed us into the Tim Hortons. She gave us all the information we needed. Thanks Suzie. She also told us that the Schroeder’s also own the Tim Hortons on Dougall and they do the exact same thing!

Next we stopped by four other Tim Hortons to see how they compared to the Schroeder’s stores.

Here is what happened:

Two locations, that will remain unnamed, did not have much to say. One store was too busy to talk, and asked that we come back another day. The other store told us to come back with a written copy of all the information to give to the store owner.

2854 Howard

This location seems to have their recycling bins set up fairly well. The bins are set up so ‘blue bin’ items and ‘red bin items’ can be sorted, if customers decide to check the signage.  They use plastic bags in their recycle bins, and when we suggested to get rid of them the manager Stephanie, told us she would be happy to talk to the store owners. She was happy to have us follow up with her in a few weeks.

This location reduces waste by having their mop heads professionally washed three times weekly, rather than throwing them in the garbage.

Ottawa & Kildare

We asked the location at Ottawa & Kildare to rearrange the signage on indoor receptacles to provide a slot for paper items, as they only have disposal for waste, and plastics. We suggested getting rid of the plastic bags–their decision is TBA.  They had no problem when we asked to follow up with them.

This location reduces waste by composting. They save their coffee grinds for customers to use in their gardens!

We had a great day and many good conversations. This was only day one of our first project as a Waste Free in Windsor team. We will continue with this  project so stay tuned for some more updates.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Allie Miner, Rosanna Demarco


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