As Vancouver marches towards its audacious goal of being the greenest city in the world by 2020, it opens up some opportunity for local entrepreneurs. This week, we welcome Nick Amado from EcoAction Recycling, an in-office organic waste recycling solution focused on helping companies reduce their waste.
1. Who are you? Tell us about your business and what inspired you to create it.
My name is Nick Amado, owner of EcoAction Recycling. EcoAction Recycling is an in-office organic waste recycling solution focused on helping companies reduce their waste. With a concern for the environment I wanted to create a solution that would help reduce the pressure we put on our planet every day.
More than 40% of Metro Vancouver’s garbage consists of compostable material that can be recycled back into soil. Discovering that most work environments do not currently recycle their food waste I decided to start EcoAction Recycling and fill this need.
2. What direction do you see EcoAction Recycling growing in the next 5 years?
EcoAction was born out of Vancouver’s 2020 Greenest City in the World initiative. We believe in the power of sustainable business practices. Our goal is not to be another waste management company but instead focus on educating and helping businesses become sustainable.
3. How has Vancouver’s rising startup community played a role in the development of your company?
Being surrounded by business minded individuals has really giving me the encouragement I need to make my business flourish. It also helps that all those startups will need to start recycling their office food waste as well. (wink wink)
4. What core problem is your company specifically solving and/or what’s the main value you provide?
The upcoming 2015 ban on compostable waste from our landfill across Metro Vancouver has got businesses thinking about ways they can divert food waste from their office kitchen trash bins as local government will not be providing a solution.
EcoAction Recycling offers a simple practical solution to office organic waste. We offer stylish bins that we place in office kitchens where staff are encouraged to dispose of compostable items. We then come in, pick up the waste and have it recycled back into soil.
5. How did you end up becoming an entrepreneur and what challenges did you personally overcome to succeed?
I always knew I wanted to run my own business. Having observed the success of the green bin program at my home the past few years I wanted to test this idea at the company I was working for at the time. I quickly noted the success of the program at work and that’s when I decided to start EcoAction Recycling.
As far as challenges go it can be difficult convincing people to hop on board although, once started, companies are always surprised to discover how much waste can actually be recycled.
6. What entrepreneur has inspired you the most for running your business and what makes them so special?
I am inspired by Richard Branson. I admire his passion and well-honed instinct for turning anything into a business. I also truly appreciate his concern and awareness for the environment.
7. What Vancouver celebrity/influencer would you most be excited to have as a member of the team and why?
A shout out to Ryan Holmes. If you ever consider a career in sustainable practices please do not hesitate to contact me!
I know we are in two completely different industries but I love the success story behind Ryan. He is the definition of a true entrepreneur. With a few attempts at other businesses his perseverance has paid off huge and I look up to him for that reason.
8. If you could tell your younger self something what would it be?
Stop analyzing things to death and just go for it. Life is short. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
9. What are some accessible resources used and winning habits you have developed to learn and grow as an entrepreneur?
Surrounding myself with other entrepreneurs has provided me with confidence in my business. Networking events have also been a key to success as well.
As for habits go: I love my CRM system and planning my day with new goals set every day. At first I thought the idea was to go hard every day but small achievable steps daily has proven successful. I’ll make mistakes everyday but I am also constantly learning.
10. What’s your advice for current or future entrepreneurs?
Wake up and smell the coffee. Got an idea? LET’S GO! Stop wasting time!
*End of interview*
It has been refreshing to be able to feature a startup in the recycling space. It makes a lot of sense to fill this void and as responsible as companies say they are, clearly there is much room for improvement. It will be interesting to see how fast Nick can grow this and as we get closer to 2020 and the city starts to implement changes, we hope they’ll play in EcoAction Recycling’s favour.
*Vancouver Entrepreneurs is a weekly feature on the city’s most notable entrepreneurs and startups that are making a local and even a global impact. If you think your venture deserves to be on the series, send an email to paul(at)vancitybuzz(dot)com to explain why you’re a fit.