EcoTank holds small community cleanup, planning to make it annual

August 4, 2022   ·   0 Comments

By Sam Odrowski

A local company aimed at reducing plastic waste recently organized a trash cleanup in Orangeville.

EcoTank, who installs windshield washer dispensers at gas stations, had a small but dedicated group of staff and their families out removing garbage from Riddell Road last Tuesday (July 26). 

They’re planning on making the trash cleanup an annual event in the community to cover more ground and have a bigger impact. Although, EcoTank co-owner Robbie Mair said his expectations were exceeded with the smaller group of just 10 to 15 people picking up litter.

“It’s actually amazing how little area we covered and how much garbage we did actually remove. I think we ended up with about seven bags,” said Robbie Mair, EcoTank co-owner. “When we make it a community event next year versus just our company doing it, I think it’d be pretty successful.”

The annual community cleanup event will be one hour long and Mair said it is all part of EcoTank’s goal to eliminate plastics and help the environment. 

EcoTank estimates that if its fluid dispensers were installed at just 15 per cent of gas stations in North America, 500 tons of plastic packaging from windshield washer fluid jugs would be eliminated each year.

Eventually, the company is planning on tying a portion of its revenue to tree planting.

EcoTank installed its first windshield washer fluid refilling station at the local 7-Eleven (268 Broadway) last December, and since then they’ve installed them from coast to coast. 

Right now, there’s 74 set up in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and British Columbia, with a total of 250 planned for the remainder of the year. 

Most of the EcoTank refilling stations in Ontario are in the GTA but the coverage area goes up as far as Shawanaga, about 30 kilometres north of Parry Sound. By the end of the year Mair said they’ll be as far as Windsor in the southwest and Oshawa in the northeast. Orangeville will be getting a few more fluid dispensers at local gas stations as well. 

Usage has gone up through the summer months and Mair said people who test out EcoTank’s fluid dispensers are happy to now have the option. 

“People are topping up and using it because they’re making a conscious decision to eliminate the plastic jug and at least try out the product,” said Mair. “We’ve had a couple of people say that once you use it, there will never be a reason why you’d go back to plastic jugs.”

Looking ahead, EcoTank plans to start manufacturing the windshield washer fluid in Orangeville next year and manufacture the fluid dispensing stations in Brampton, Currently, they’re manufactured in Slovakia and shipped here.

“We got pretty ambitious growth plans,” Mair noted. “Once we start having manufacturing here in Ontario, we’ll have a little bit more of a handle on our supply chain.”

He told the Citizen, EcoTank would have been able to surpass their plans to install 250 windshield washer refill stations this year if the company was able to get more of them to sell.

“It isn’t a demand issue. It’s simply because 250 is the amount of tanks we were able to get our hands on. So looking ahead to next year, we’re pre-emptively placing orders, and with the combination of manufacturing at home, we’re looking at 100 per cent growth. We’re looking at 450 to 500 for next year.”

Mair said he’s hoping EcoTank will maintain that rate of growth for years to come. 

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