The over-population of the planet is now depleting more resources
than can be comfortably sustained without detrimental consequences.
Making usage of existing products, for which the raw materials and the
energy employed to produce them have already been consumed, is
a more maintainable method of existence even as population expands.
AIEL is committed to sustainability.
Ways Our Company does its Part
Using something again reduces waste and expense,
and it delays the cost of disposal or recycling.
- Cabling: Electrical cable that is still safe, but has
become scuffed, discoloured, or has too many visible repairs
is culled from rental stock and shifted to internal or home
- Paper: Office paper, especially old printouts, is cut
up for notepaper. Full sheets and envelopes are used for test
printouts. Once used, all are placed into Paper Recycle. (Some
are shredded first.)
- Shipping Materials: Large boxes and packing sent to
us by our suppliers are in turn used to pack items being shipped
to our customers.
- Textiles: Old articles of clothing and worn-out backdrops
are cut up for rags. When these become too worn for rag purposes,
they go to Textiles Recycle. Those that are too oily or were used
for solvents are sent to the Hazardous Materials Depot.
- Towels: When hand towels cannot be laundered to become
completely clean, we switch them to drying equipment that has been
washed. When they get too dirty for that purpose, the towels are
cut up for shop wipes. After that, they become oil or solvents
rags. Then they go to the Hazardous Materials Depot.
Things can often be employed for something other
than their originally intended usages. Doing so
keeps items out of the landfills or recycling
depots, or at least delays their disposal.
- Backdrops: When drops get torn and can't be repaird, the
cloth is sectioned and rehemmed into smaller sizes to be used as
stage blacks. The smallest pieces become polish cloths, or they
are sent to Textiles Recycle.
- Blister Packaging: If the product information needs to
be kept as a reference, the cardboard backing is removed to a
documentation file. If not needed, it is sent to Boxboard Recycle.
The plastic blister parts are repurposed as a surface upon which
to mix adhesives. When shop staff has finished with them, the
now-contaminated plastic goes to the Hazardous Materials Depot.
- Cabling: Damaged sections have the outer insulation
removed and the individual wires are redeployed for electrical or
electronic hookup purposes. Usable sections are made into shorter
cables for our inventory, while really bad sections go into Copper
- Cardboard: Small boxes shipped to us with orders from
our suppliers become compartments inside drawers or cases,
or are used to box items being placed into storage. Cut up, they
become dividers to place between fragile items.
- Computer: Taken out of service after an upgrade, an
old computer was installed into our Showroom and repurposed to
present a photo slideshow of lighting we have done.
- Drawers: We use old drawers from discarded furniture or
refrigerators as shelf bins. Sizes were matched, especially
heights, and shelf spacing adjusted to contain them. Each is
marked as to contents.
- Eyeglasses Cases: These are repurposed to hold drill
bits, flashdrives, and small tools such as miniature driver sets.
- Frozen Dinner Trays: Once cleaned, these are employed
for hardware sorting, as parts separators for each step of
equipment disassembly, for adhesive mixing, to hold oily rags, or
anywhere that a small, robust container is needed for temporary
For permanent purposes, these trays make great drawer
organisers that will keep like items together but separated from
other like items. The trays also prevent items from getting lost
in the bottom or back of a drawer.
- Locking Food Bags: These are rinsed of organics and
then dried so that hardware or parts can be stored in them. The
transparent property of these bags allows one to see the contents
- Paper: Large sizes, such as newspapers or retail flyers,
are taken to our Paint Shop for masking purposes or for brush/roller
cleanup. In the Assembly Shop, they protect surfaces from dirt or
grease. Once used, these papers are sent to the Hazardous Materials
- Photo E-Frames: These present advertisements of sales
items that are both displayed and not displayed within our
Showroom. They can also be used to give information to customers
regarding store policies. Since theses ads are in an electronic
format, updates are easily done, and without consuming paper and
- Plastic Clamshell Packages: Once cleaned, these are good
for storage of lightweight items. In addition, for the smaller ones
that have no air holes, batteries can be put in them. The plastic
will contain any potential leakage.
- Plastic Parts Drawers: Broken ones are cut and reshaped
to be used as inserts in other parts cabinet drawers. (Manufacturers
don't always supply enough dividers.)
- Plastic -- Stiff, Clear: Some of these are kept to be cut
into replacement windows for equipment, or as protectors for signs
or documentation instead of laminating them. Laminated paper is not
- Retail Containers: Commercial packaging that would
ordinarily end up going into Blue Bag Recycle is cleaned and used
for liquids storage or dispensing, or parts are stored in them.
Some are placed into roadcases or kits to hold, separate, and
thus protect items during transit. Each is labeled as required.
(See The Kits:
- Retail Containers 2: Soup cans are de-labeled and cleaned
to hold pens or pencils, or to become flashlight holders. The
latter are typically screwed to the wall so as to reduce workbanch
- Retail Containers 3: Juice cans are de-labeled and
cleaned, and a row of them placed into a rack at 45-degree angles
to hold chain or large hardware. Although not necessary in our
shops, 20-litre plastic pails can also be racked in the same manner
to store even larger chains or rope. Coiled neatly, these products
can be dispensed directly from the pails without tangles.
- Sanding Sponges: These use a dense, yet flexible foam.
After they wear out, clean them, and use for padding. A number of
them could be glued to the bottom of a road case with spaces in
between, and then covered by gluing planking or plywood on top.
Keep the covering away from the case sides so as to permit movement.
This example makes for a case floor with give that will cushion
contents during trasnport.
Sponges may be glued to the sides of cases, as well.
To protect contents from scratches and scuffs, cover the pads
with felt should residual abrasive material still exist.
- Shredder Bins: When your paper shredder fails and is
sent to E-Recycle, keep the bin. These slim, rectangular containers
make great garbage or recycling bins that will fit into narrow
spaces. Attach a small handle to one of the short sides to make it
easy to pull out for emptying.
- Surplus Clipboards: These are repaired and cleaned, and
sometimes painted. They become sign/price holders or display boards
for product information in our Showroom where such information
needs to be changed regularly. They are also hung up with
advertisements for sales which are often promoted as "Clipboard
Repairing is part of the routine maintenance and
regular shop procedures for us. Replacement
strains the environment, especially when
regarding the disposal of the old items.
Reparation is the most common way
of not disposing of an item.
- Cables: Most equipment troubles occur in cabling. We
repair all cables as many times as possible before sending them
to Copper Recycle.
- Lighting Equipment: Any repairs that can be economically
done are performed, then the items are placed back into service,
or are sold/donated to needy groups. If not, they are disassembled
for parts which are labeled and stored.
- Shop Equipment: We keep our tools and related shop items
in working condition for as long as possible. It makes economic
sense. In addition though, because so many low-quality items are on
the market that don't last, buying them would mean more worn-out
tools clogging the environment; so extra money is spent to extend
the life of the tools we do own, and even to obtain older,
- Vehicles: We keep our motor vehicles for as many years as
we can -- typically 10 to 15 years. The environmental cost of
manufacturing new trucks, given the number of parts that go into
making them, is high, so make them last.
Refurbishing equipment makes it work as
new and extends its life considerably.
- Cabling: These are cleaned with solvent, connectors
are replaced as necessary, and new markings and colour coding
applied. For damaged items, shorter cables are made up from the
- Lighting Equipment: is refurbished (and sometimes
modified), to make it usable again. Such equipment can be rented,
or sold at a lower price to groups or individuals that cannot
afford to buy it new.
- Shop Equipment: For older items, they are disassembled
for rebuilding, and with worn parts, such as bearings and electrical
brushes being replaced. Any old items are recycled whenever
When things are just not that usable any more, or
they finally wear out or break to a point whereby
they must be disposed, recycling keeps many
of these items out of the environment.
- Blister Pack Plastics: If not needed for storage, divider
compartments, or shop purposes, these and similar plastics are
sorted, cleaned as necessary, and bagged for recycle. The bag goes
to curbside for pickup.
- Boxboard: Bagged separately from paper and placed out
- Compost Food Waste: Customer and employee organic waste
is separated from recyclables or garbage and put into a green bin
- Corrugated Cardboard: If not being reused, this type of
cardboard is tied into bundles after tape and labels have been
removed, then placed at the curb for pickup.
- Hazardous Materials: We collect our depleted batteries,
and left-over paints, solvents, oils, and adhesives, along with
the rags or newspapers used with them. All are taken to the
Hazardous Materials Depot two or three times a year.
- Metals: Steel, aluminum, brass, and copper are sorted,
then taken to Metals Recycle.
- Paper: Clean paper is blue bagged and set out for
- Retail Bags: Torn or undesired plastic retail bags are
gathered into one bag and set out for pickup. Paper bags are
placed into Paper Recycle.
- Retail Packaging: Cans, bottles, and plastic spray-paint
can caps are thoroughly rinsed, and placed into a standard blue
bag, if they are not employed as described earlier. (As mentioned
earlier, steel is separated out for metal recycle.) The bag goes to
the curb for pickup.
- Thin-Film Plastics: Sorted, cleaned, then bagged
separately from the above and set out for pickup.
Organics and corrugated cardboard aside, everything
placed out for collection is either inside transparent
bags or marked so that recycling personnel can
identify the contents as it's being collected.
Reducing the load on the environment sometimes
just means simply adjusting one's mindset.
- Burning: AIEL does not discard anything by burning
in any manner. Never burn anything; there are better methods
of disposal than by adding to air pollution.
- Refrigerator Temperatures: Chilling or freezing things
colder than necessary wastes electricity. Set your fridge to 5
degrees C, and its freezer compartment to -18 degrees C. Use an
accurate thermometer to monitor these temperatures. You can
maintain efficiency by checking that door seals are tight. Poor
seals will show condensation at the leakage points. Adjust the
door hinges, replace the seal (or add to it with peel & stick
- Set-Back Thermostats: We have this type so as to use
less electricity. If you don't have them, get into the habit
of setting them back yourself.
- Warehouse and Office Lighting: Our industrial lighting is
energy efficient with a minimum number of a fixtures so as to use
less electricity. Showroom lighting is LED or halogen -- all
controlled by dimmers for even more savings. As your lamps burn
out, spend a little more to replace them with longer-life,
- Water Temperature: Hot water that needs to have cold
water added so as to be able to touch it is wasteful of the
electricity required to heat it beyond a safe handling temperature.
Our water heater thermostat is set to 55 C. Reduce your thermostat
setting. You can also increase efficiency by wrapping your water
tank in a thermal blanket.
A Canadian Company