Talking trash

Waste management in boom times

Although Alberta is a leader in waste management practices, it is among the largest generators of waste, producing 800 kg per capita. That's a far cry from the province's target of 500 kg per person by 2010.

Recycling asphalt shingles

Discarded roofing material gets second life in new applications

Nobody likes to see waste, especially not when there appears to be so many options for the reuse of asphalt shingles. Shredded asphalt shingles can be used in gravel road dust suppression, hot patch road repairs, as an admixture to asphalt and cement, as shredded material mixed with aggregate suitable for building up roads or multi-use nature trails, or as fuel for cement kilns and electricity generation.

New developments the rule in the concrete industry

There's not much about concrete that's set in stone. "The concrete industry is changing almost on a weekly basis," says Ed Kalis, executive director of the Alberta Ready Mixed Concrete Association (ARMCA). New products, technologies, and applications are constantly being developed as ready-mix suppliers strive to improve quality and lower costs.

In 2006, approximately four million cubic metres of concrete were poured into roads, bridges, and other structures throughout Alberta. It's a popular building material; worldwide, it's second only to water. Concrete is often the material of choice because of its durability, strength, thermal properties, and relatively low cost.

Help wanted

Piecing together the labour puzzle

At no other time in the history of the oil and gas industry in Canada has one province experienced such an expansive and long-lasting boom as Alberta. Having started around the mid-1990s, this boom appears to have no end in site as thousands of people flock to Alberta to jump on the province's economic bandwagon.

Construction technology

A 21st century approach to bolstering productivity

Just after sunrise, a construction crew gathers around a 45-inch display screen, coffee cups in hand. The site supervisor delivers a presentation outlining the day's plan. Employees with questions after the presentation quickly access their daily or weekly targets, instructions, and which materials they'll require, printing out information as needed. Fully prepped for the day's tasks, everyone gets to work.

Business and aboriginal communities forge new frontiers

One of the greatest untapped sources of skilled labour in this country, and certainly in western Canada, is the aboriginal population.

It is also a talent pool of entrepreneurs. Historically, the Cree were known for their trading skills and in today's world would be regarded as business leaders.

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