COIL Zero Waste Economic Transformation Lab

A worker looking at a pile of construction debris
Logo for COIL Zero Waste Economic Transformation Lab

Founding supporter:

co-operators logo

Forty-five per cent of global carbon emissions are generated when we manufacture products. Redesigning systems  to recycle and extend the life of materials is an essential part of fighting climate change.

The COIL Zero Waste Economic Transformation Lab will expand COIL’s work beyond food. It will apply place-based circular economy strategies to develop and test new opportunities to reduce or redirect waste from sectors across the economy, starting with construction, renovation and demolition materials.

As the Lab’s founding corporate supporter, Co-operators is standing behind its commitment to embedding sustainability into all areas of its business. Its investment in the Lab and its first project will help to sustainably divert materials away from landfills and keep them in the local economy.  


Launch of CRD Source Separation Challenge

Construction, renovation and demolition (CRD) materials, such as concrete, drywall, cabinetry and lumber, make up approximately one third of the waste Canadians send to landfills every year. If properly separated, most of these materials can be reused or recycled.

However, most construction waste is currently placed in a single dumpster, meaning virtually none of these materials are reclaimed or recycled.

Through Zero Waste Economic Transformation Lab’s Civic Innovation Challenge, COIL is looking for a local business or innovator interested in developing a new business model to support onsite source separation, alternative waste hauling methods or another innovative idea to divert CRD materials for small industrial, commercial or institutional (ICI) and residential construction, renovation and demolition projects.

A winner will be selected and awarded $15,000 to pilot their new system in collaboration with the Guelph-Wellington Smart Cities Office and the Guelph’s Solid Waste Resources department.

An info session will be held for interested bidders on Tuesday September 13 at 2:00 p.m. EDT. Follow the Review and Register link below for more information

Residential Construction Site

Our Process

Infographic image with text of ZWETL process. 1. Convene stakeholders from across the ecosystem to create a shared vision; 2. Systems analysis using data and stakeholder research to understand why and how waste is created; 3. opportunity analysis, identify the most pressing opportunities to reduce waste by volume and emissions; 3. Pilots and interventions - leverage Guelph - Wellington's urban rural testbed to test new system changes or business models; 5. systems road map - share our findings and ideas so they can scale in other communities.

Calling all Construction, Renovation and Demolition (CRD) Stakeholders

We’re looking to develop and test system changes that will create a more circular CRD industry – starting in Guelph and Wellington.

This needs to be a whole of industry approach.

We’re looking for collaborators from across the construction and demolition sectors – developers, contractors, recyclers, industry groups, material-recovery operators,  entrepreneurs, researchers and more who want to get involved.

Get in touch with our team!

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