Green Circle Salons: Making Beauty Sustainable

Green Circle

Wild & Free Hair Boutique is happy to be doing our part to keep the planet, and you, beautiful! We are an accredited Green Circle Salon and we take our role seriously in trying to lessen our impact on the environment. There is a family of Green Circle Salons across North America and it is great to see the hair industry recognize and deal with the problem of waste. It’s fascinating to see how your hair clippings and used foils can help the planet by being reused and recycled! If you have any further questions please email info@wildandfreehair.com. 
 

What waste material does Green Circle Salons collect?

Hair

  • GCS collects hair clippings and extensions in order to keep these items out of the waste stream, and from ultimately ending up at local landfill sites. This locally grown and natural material can be used as a filler in building materials, as an adsorbent fibre to soak up oil, and as a growth enhancement tool in agriculture.
  • Alternatively, when hair is sent to landfill sites, it doesn’t break down for significant periods of time and in the process releases methane, which contributes significantly to the greenhouse effect.

Metal

  • GCS collects salon metals (aluminum foils, colour tubes, colour cans) in order to keep these items out of the waste stream, and from ultimately ending up at local landfill sites. These high-grade metals can be melted down and reused several times with very little degradation in quality.
  • Alternatively, when contaminated metal is sent to landfill sites, it doesn’t break down for significant periods of time and in the process, contributes to the greenhouse effect by off gassing.

Hair colour by-product

  • GCS collects excess liquid hair colour by-product (excess colour, peroxide and developer) in order to keep these chemicals from being rinsed down the drain, and ultimately ending up in our waterways. Using the GCS Chemical Waste Diversion Program, chemical waste can be converted to electricity using a Waste-to-Energy (W2E) gasification process, or simply neutralized and safely fed back into our grey-water systems.
  • Alternatively, when salon chemicals enter our water table, they are difficult and costly to remove. Chemical waste ultimately becomes a pollutant for marine wildlife through bioaccumulation, and contaminates our drinking water.

Spa waste

  • GCS collects a variety of aesthetics materials (including wax strips, popsicle sticks, cotton balls, spa table paper, and more) in order to prevent these unusable materials from being sent to landfill.

Where does all of this waste go?

Hair is collected and placed in burlap bags where it can remain stable for long periods of time in a climate-controlled warehouse environment. When it is being put to use, the hair can be sterilized, dried and shredded while remaining in the burlap bag. It is then used for a variety of repurposing initiatives, such as oil boom manufacturing.

  • Salon metals are taken to local recycling facilities where they are sorted and separated before being combined with other types of metal and smelted. In the process, chemical waste contaminants are lifted off of the metal and kept from entering the atmosphere. This metal can then be used in a variety of manufacturing processes.
  • Hair colour by-product is stored in secure barrels before being collected by a licensed chemical waste disposal company. In most cases, the liquid waste is then put through a closed-loop incineration process where it is turned into energy, which is then injected into the local power grid. The water content, which is removed in the chemical separation process is then decontaminated and reused as grey water.
  • Spa Waste, like chemical waste, is put through local gasification or incineration systems and used to create a W2E fuel source out of these materials.
  • Mannequin heads are collected and stored by Green Circle Salons, to be repurposed for police ballistics training, art projects, and other end-of-life applications. Heads with significant amounts of hair still intact can be reused in the training of cutting and styling services.
  • Salon tools are taken to a local recycling facility where they are sorted and stripped for raw materials & components alongside other E-waste such as cell phones, computers, and household appliances.
  • Batteries are taken to a local recycling facility where they can be drained of their minerals. The toxins that would otherwise be polluting landfill sites can be used in future battery making, while the other components of the battery can be used in a variety of manufacturing and agricultural processes.