New beverage container recycling concept launched in Moncton

Re-centre launch - April 22 2014

Encorp Atlantic Inc. General Manager Pierre Landry addresses the media and guests at the launch of Encorp’s exciting new recycling initiative in Moncton. Click on the photo for a larger version. (Photo by Brian Cormier)

Greater Moncton residents will now have an easier and more convenient way to recycle their empty beverage containers. That’s the idea behind (re), a unique pilot project being tested in the Greater Moncton area aimed at revolutionizing beverage container recycling. At the new drop-off self-serve re-centres, busy consumers can recycle their empty beverage containers at their convenience – with the entire process taking less than one minute. The new re-centres were launched today with a news conference and inaugural first bag drop of recyclable containers.

Consumers who want to use the new re-centres need to register online at www.re-centre.ca in order to get a card linked to their account. Consumers can then collect their empty beverage containers, drop them off at their convenience at an unmanned self-serve re-centre unit and receive their New Brunswick deposit-bearing beverage container refund via an online payment system.

Behind the scenes, the (re) team collects and sorts the containers daily, confirming accurate container counts and crediting consumers’ accounts with the appropriate refunds.

The two unmanned solar-powered/off-the-grid re-centres are accessible to the public at 557 Mountain Road and 325 Killam Drive in Moncton. They are open seven days per week from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The re-centres’ approach is not only beneficial for busy consumers, but also the environment. “What is really exciting is that we’ve designed our model to have the smallest possible ecological footprint,” said Pierre Landry, General Manager of Encorp Atlantic. “Our mobile drop-off re-centre units are completely off-the-grid thanks to the use of solar power. The units are also made out of recycled shipping containers.”

The (re) pilot-project is an initiative being lead by New Brunswick non-alcoholic beverage product distributors and managed through Encorp Atlantic Inc. which provides post-consumer beverage container management services to organizations that distribute deposit-bearing beverage containers in New Brunswick. Now representing more than 85 distributors of non-alcoholic beverage products in New Brunswick, Encorp Atlantic is proud to be a leader in industry stewardship, proud of the more than $100 million contributed to the Government of New Brunswick’s Environmental Trust Fund, and proud of the three billion containers recycled since 1992.

Landry says the pilot project’s main goal is to improve the business model for redemption centres across New Brunswick. “We’re testing new systems, procedures and technology on a small demographic in order to find out how to make the recycling experience more convenient for customers while improving operations and increasing revenue for redemption centres. We believe the re-centre model’s successful components could be added on or integrated to existing centres to increase public participation in recycling.”

The (re) team is looking to recruit 2,500 households who want to sign up to use the re-centres for their recycling needs within Greater Moncton as part of its 36-month test period. They’ll be able to enjoy the convenience of the re-centres and will provide valuable feedback. Signing up is free and only takes a few minutes on www.re-centre.ca. There are no fees associated with using the re-centres. The website and
online registration launched today, and participants will be able to start bringing their empty beverage containers to the re-centres as of June 1, 2014.

Representatives will also be promoting recycling and recruiting participants at the Earth Day Moncton event on Sunday, April 27, as well as throughout the summer months at the Moncton Market and at numerous festivals and events.

For more information, contact Pierre Landry at 506-389-7320 or pierre@encorpatl.ca.

This week’s giveaway: The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk

Thank you economyThis week’s giveaway is a copy of The Thank You Economy by Gay Vaynerchuk.

Publisher’s description: “Gone are the days when a blizzard of marketing dollars could be used to overwhelm the airwaves, shut out the competition, and grab customer awareness. Now customers’ demands for authenticity, originality, creativity, honesty, and good intent have made it necessary for companies and brands to revert to a level of customer service rarely seen since our great-grandparents’ day, when business owners often knew their customers personally, and gave them individual attention. Here renowned entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk reveals how companies big and small can scale that kind of personal, one-on-one attention to their entire customer base, no matter how large, using the same social media platforms that carry consumer word of mouth.”

To enter your name in the contest, follow the instructions in this week’s newsletter. To subscribe, please fill out the form in the right-hand column of my website. The deadline for entries is Sunday, April 27, at noon. The winner will be chosen by random draw.

Congratulations to last week’s winner, Lisa Breau, who won a signed copy of Reinventing You by Dorie Clark.

Happy Easter / Joyeuses Pâques

Happy Easter 2014

This is another vintage postcard from my maternal grandmother Rose Pineau’s collection. It dates from the early 1900s – probably around 1910.

Hump Day: Sympathy for ‘The Whistler’ in a Nana-state stage scolding

Hump DayHump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Moncton Times & Transcript
Editorial section

Our next Friday the 13th doesn’t occur until June, but that doesn’t mean superstition doesn’t surround us daily. I’ll bet you that June 13 will be a slow day for special events such as weddings and important meetings. When it comes to superstitions, I don’t let them run my life – not even a little bit. I think they’re silly. I don’t walk under ladders because it’s unsafe, not because it’s unlucky. It’s common sense.

I did witness a bit of public superstition recently that was quite dramatic, actually. International best-selling singer Nana Mouskouri held her last concert in North America in Moncton as part of her 80th birthday tour. Moncton ended up being the last stop on the Canadian leg of the tour because the American leg of the tour had been cancelled due to work visa complications.

Since she’s turning 80 in October, Nana’s international touring days are likely almost over, so those who saw her in concert in Moncton could very well have been attending the last concert she’ll ever give in North America, period. It was a fitting farewell with standing ovations and bravos. She started right on time at 8 p.m. and performed until about 9:45 p.m., definitely giving fans their money’s worth.

Nana Mouskouri

Nana Mouskouri

I was lucky enough to snag a couple of front-row tickets as a birthday present for an aunt, however she was not feeling well that day, so I brought my mother instead. Despite a bit of hesitancy at first, she ended up absolutely loving the concert. Seeing a star perform from the front row is always an experience. I love watching the interaction with the band, the facial expressions and how they ‘really look’ up close without the soft lenses of photography or being altered by computer editing.

Those who sit in the front row are usually super fans. They buy their tickets the day they go on sale and try to make sure they’re good and healthy on the day of the concert. After all, it’s not every day that you get such great seats to a concert!

One gentleman just a few seats down from us was clearly one of Nana’s super fans. He would was just so happy to see her. Obviously, he had been looking forward to this concert for a very long time. He would jump up and clap enthusiastically often. I’m pretty sure he was the first one to stand up during her welcoming standing ovation as the concert began. He would applaud with his hands over his head. Like I said, he was a super fan and he was having a great time.

Now, before I tell you what happened, I have to tell you that before Nana walked on stage, a video montage played on the screen showing her entire career from her early appearances on black-and-white television to her (supposed) farewell concert a few years ago. (Obviously, she decided to come back.) One scene showed her just before she went on stage many years ago. In what appeared to be a pre-show ritual, she knocked on the wall in a very precise pattern before walking on stage. Immediately, I thought it looked like a good-luck charm or superstition on her part. Harmless, though – or so I thought.

Now, back to our super fan. He clapped. He cheered. He laughed. He was enamoured by Nana’s presence. He was happy, if not ecstatic.

But then it happened. As the band played the introduction to what he recognized was one of his favourite songs, he whistled – you know, a whistle as part of showing happiness toward the performer. Well, Nana was having none of that, let me tell you! From the stage, as the band continued to play, she looked down at the front-row super fan and asked, “Did you whistle?” Either he was in shock or couldn’t believe she was talking to him, so she repeated her question in front of the sold-out audience of 2,200 in the hall.

I don’t know if he responded. He was probably in shock. I felt terrible for him. His idol was admonishing him from the stage. Finally, she explained her question. “You should never whistle at a singer or actor. It’s very bad luck,” she said, before instructing her band to start the song over. Take that, super fan!

This was a new one for me, but the origin of whistling being considered bad luck is explained this way in the Wikipedia entry for whistling, “Related to a similar rule for sailing ships, it is considered bad luck for an actor to whistle on or off stage. As original stage crews were hired from ships in port (theatrical rigging has its origins in sailing rigging), sailors, and by extension theatrical riggers, used coded whistles to communicate scene changes. Actors who whistled would confuse them into changing the set or scenery and could result in injury or death. In today’s theatres, the stage crew normally uses an intercom or cue light system.”

Well, who knew? I certainly didn’t And I’m sure Nana Mouskouri’s super fan didn’t know either. He was just showing some love! Since then, the poor well-meaning guy has become known by many who attended the concert as ‘The Whistler.’

The point of all of this is that – no matter how famous you are – you can be a prisoner of superstition. I was stunned when she stopped the concert to educate an audience member on the whistling superstition. I think we all felt awkward for him.

Getting chewed out in front of 2,200 people by your favourite singer must have been awful. What was otherwise a delightful concert-going experience was tainted by a ridiculous superstition with a base in (ancient) reality but which holds no water in this day and age. Hopefully Nana’s super fan still loves her, but performers – no matter how famous – should realize that a fan’s heartfelt admiration is worth more than superstition.

This week’s giveaway: Reinventing You by Dorie Clark

Reinventing You

This week’s newsletter giveaway is a copy of Reinventing You by Dorie Clark.

Book description: “Whether you want to advance faster at your present company, change jobs, or make the jump to a new field entirely, the goal is clear: to build a career that thrives on your unique passions and talents. But to achieve this in today’s competitive job market, it’s almost certain that at some point you’ll need to reinvent yourself professionally. Consider this book your road map for the next phase of your career journey. In Reinventing You, branding expert Dorie Clark provides a step-by-step guide to help you assess your unique strengths, develop a compelling personal brand, and ensure that others recognize the powerful contribution you can make.”

To enter your name in the contest, follow the instructions in this week’s newsletter. To subscribe, please fill out the form in the right-hand column of my website. The deadline for entries is Sunday, April 20, at noon. The winner will be chosen by random draw.

Congratulations to last week’s winner, Louise Richard, who won a signed copy of Please Let Me In by Rhonda Herrington Bulmer, illustrated by Kent Bulmer.

UPDATE: The winner of Reinventing You is Lisa Breau! Congratulations, Lisa!