Hi everyone! My name is Erik Toren and I am part of the Data Integry Team at RecycleSmart! I work with all facets of the company from start to finish as we turn prospective customers into signed clients. This includes: vetting prospective clients, navigating contracts, working on RFP proposals, negotiating with haulers and helping to ensure RecycleSmart keeps up our end of the agreement with our new Clients.

I was born in Vancouver with deep roots dating back to 1912, and I feel very strongly about making this city a world leader in smart-growth and responsible waste management is integral. I first went to Capilano University where I got a degree in Tourism – I guided snowmobile tours in the Winter and ran tour boats in the Summer. I then went to UBC and got my B.SC in Global Resource Systems, writing a thesis on nutrient retention in industrially produced compost. Still not wanting to join real life, I studied in Uppsala, Sweden for my M.SC in Sustainable Development.

My introduction into the sustainability field was when I worked with my uncle at his experimental sewage treatment facility in Orcas Island when I was 18. We were paid to haul sewage from septic tanks and through dewatering and composting, turned it into Grade A soil amendment, potable irrigation water and crude biodiesel which were sold on island. $4 million in investment was paid off in five years – that’s when I realized that there was a business case for environmental enterprise.

My favourite thing about working at RecycleSmart is that everyone is from such diverse backgrounds, in both work and life experience. There is always another perspective from someone on the team when trying to solve a problem.

Outside of work, I have a small 100 Litre brewery that runs at full capacity and am usually working on some machine that was a “good deal” on Craigslist!