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Peruvian schoolchildren benefit from Waste2Wonder's business model

Thursday, June 16th 2011 11:33:56am

Media Release

OTTAWA, June 16, 2011 - Thanks to two massive shipping containers full of desks from the Ottawa offices of Sun Life Financial, chairs from The Global Group, and school supplies from Grand & Toy, learning just got a little bit easier for 1,200 Peruvian school children living in Chilca, the Huancayo region of Peru.

Last month, Waste2Wonder accepted thanks from the Chilca mayor on behalf of its client, Sun Life Financial. "It was such a humbling moment to be thanked so profusely by Mayor Abraham Carrasco Talavera," said Waste2Wonder's Elena Jusenlijska. "Seeing the joy on the faces of those beautiful kids would have been thanks enough."

The journey to the Andean region of Peru began when Sun Life Financial staff decided that the old furniture from their Ottawa offices should not end up in a landfill. Most of the furniture was over 20 years old and no longer demanded in our marketplace, but was still useable. "This was a great opportunity to turn waste into wonder because the desks were very sturdy and would last at least another 20 years," said Jusenlijska.

Throwing out old office furniture is commonplace: it is estimated that over 6 million tonnes of non-household waste went to landfills in Ontario in 2008. The costs associated with the removal of office furniture and equipment are normally incurred by a business without any return on investment. The model proposed by Waste2Wonder, however, has offered an alternative - one that has generated interest among companies like Sun Life Financial.

"Sun Life Financial supports environmentally sustainable practices throughout its business operations, and Waste2Wonder's services are a perfect fit," said Marjorie Baxter, Manager of Health, Safety & Environment Services.  "It's important to us to consider responsible processes around office material re-use, recycling, reduction and disposal.  Waste2Wonder helped us take materials that were no longer useful to us and give these items to communities and organizations in need."

Grand & Toy, a partner of Waste2Wonder, contributed school supplies to the School in a Box. Tim Welch, Director of East Ontario Sales added, "by setting this example, we can encourage all of our customers and partners to participate in similar programs."

The Global Group, a leader in furniture manufacturing, provided additional chairs for the project. "Being a small part of making someone's future more bright and worthwhile is absolutely wonderful!" said Karen Worthy, Director of Quality & Environment at The Global Group. "It's the right thing to do and it makes good business sense," Worthy added.

With increasing public pressure for businesses to become socially and environmentally responsible, the waste reduction services offered by Waste2Wonder are attractive to businesses looking both to ‘do good' and to increase their brand value. "Our model has created one of those rare win-win-win situations," said Ms. Jusenlijska, "but it all starts with partners like Sun Life Financial who want to make a difference."

For more information, contact: Elena Jusenlijska, 905-629-4334, email at or visit


Waste2Wonder is a business that removes, repurposes, and recycles redundant office furniture, supplies, and IT in the most environmentally and socially responsible way.