Green Circle Recycling Program

Green Circle Salons logo

What is it?

 Green Circle is a North American waste diversion program that collects, recycles and re-purposes salon waste that would otherwise end up in the landfill.. helping facilitate salons in becoming more sustainable, with up to 95% of waste being recycled instead of thrown out. 

Our Green Circle recycling bins at Ascend Salon in Penticton, BC

What does it mean to be a Green Circle Salon?

 A Green Circle Salon is a salon that has been certified by Green Circle and who now participates in the Green Circle waste diversion methods. In the past five years, more than 700 salons across Canada and the U.S. have signed up for this program, with Green Circle pushing to have the entire industry on board by 2020. 

recyclables  at Ascend Salon in Penticton, BC

What kind of waste are we talking about?

 Hair clippings, used colour tubes, used foils, leftover colour and aerosol cans pile up in staggering amounts, and previously were simply thrown in the garbage. Can you imagine the volume of waste one salon produces? Now picture every salon in North America.

 Green Circle Salons collect these items (along with the usual recyclable materials like paper, plastics and glass) and send them to the nearest Green Circle facility.

hair colour that is recycled at Ascend Salon in Penticton, BC

How does all of this work?

 The Green Circle program begins with the delivery of four cardboard boxes, and a plastic-lined bin. Each cardboard box collects one of the four; hair, paper, plastic or metal. The plastic-lined bin collects leftover colour that would otherwise be rinsed down the drain and back into our waterways.
The bin is set up by the sink where the colour bowls and bottles are cleaned. The leftover colour is poured/scraped into the plastic-lined bin, instead of being rinsed down the sink.. about 4 litres worth, by the time it's full.
Once the bag fills, it is sealed up, we give Green Circle a call. Our bags are collected and sent to the nearest Green Circle warehouse, where the clean water is extracted, and the leftover chemicals are put through an incineration process to create clean energy.  

oil spill booms made out of recycled hair through the Green Circle Program

What happens to the hair?

Green Circle deals with the hair right here in BC, sending it to the Alouette Correctional Center for Women in Maple Ridge. Inmates are then paid to stuff nylon casings full of hair, creating booms used to aide oil spill cleanup across North America. The completed booms are shipped to, and stored in Green Circle warehouses and whenever an oil spill occurs, Green Circle makes the booms available to anyone who needs them.. free of charge. Working both with the local medias, Green Circle then works with local medias to request volunteers; Salons in the area of the spill are able to register as a pick up point. Volunteers and Green Circle team members alike will both aid in the distribution and cleanup, and then the booms are collected once again and are sent back to Green Circle to be properly disposed of. 

What about the other waste?

 Once the boxes collecting metals, plastics and papers are full, the bags are sealed up and sent to one of four Green Circle warehouses in Canada where they are sorted and sent to specific recyclers to properly deal with the materials.

Ascend Salon is proud to be a certified Green Circle Salon. We are passionate about creating sustainability in the industry, and hope that every salon in the community, and all across North America will follow suit. If we all work together, we have the potential to grow the Green Circle program into an entity large enough to be brought on-board by North American governments as a resource to help respond to all oil-related disaster to come.. as well as inspire other countries around the world to be more accountable for their salon waste.