A local salon has joined an environmentally friendly initiative to repurpose beauty waste, finding important uses for unlikely materials. Schön Salon, located at 120 W. Stephen Foster Ave. in Bardstown, became certified sustainable by Green Circle Salon in January and has been making some noticeable changes to the workspace to reflect its newfound recycling efforts.
Several receptacles are located inside the salon, designated to collect specific types of beauty waste such as hair trimmings, foils and product tubes. Even leftover hair color has a place to be collected rather than going down the drain.
“That’s a month’s worth of color that would be going into our waterways,” said owner Shanda Murray, referencing a collection bucket in one of the salon rooms that was filled with a colorful mixture, which can now be recycled into clean energy. Plastics and paper can also be recycled, and metal products such as aerosol cans can be smelted and repurposed.
Throughout the week, Murray and her staff are careful to collect the waste and separate it into the appropriate bins, where it will later be picked up by Green Circle partners or shipped off to designated recycling facilities. In the first few months of being part of the program, Murray has already seen the impact Green Circle makes on limiting waste.
“We went from taking six bags of trash a week to one,” Murray said. “It’s nuts.”
Green Circle Salons was founded in Canada in 2009 and made its way to the U.S. as the initiative caught on. Its program, created specifically for the beauty industry, helps participating salons divert up to 95 percent of waste from landfills and waterways, according to a press release. While color waste has the potential to be converted to energy, hair trimmings are made into oil-absorbent booms and used to contain oil spills.
In addition to the new receptacles, clients may also soon notice a small $1 to $2 environmental fee associated with their services, a portion of which goes to supporting the Green Circle Salon program and for other sustainable efforts, such as LED lighting.
Schön joins more than 2,000 other salons, spas and barbershops in North America as a certified Green Circle Salon and is one of four listed on the GCS directory for the state of Kentucky. The industry is one that otherwise generates close to half a million pounds of waste daily, according to Green Circle’s website, which is why its program was introduced by biochemist Shane Price as a way to protect air, water and soil quality.
“Reducing our carbon footprint and caring for our environment has always been important to me, and with our sustainable certification from Green Circle Salons, we can share that commitment with our clients,” Murray said, adding the recycling bins have been a conversation starter among those who visit.
Murray, who opened the local salon in 2013, said she was inspired to become part of the Green Circle Salon effort because she saw the need locally.
“As a native of the Pacific Northwest, going green was a big part of how I grew up,” she said. But moving to Bardstown, it was difficult to recycle certain materials and there also wasn’t much of a push or market for it. After discovering Green Circle, she knew it was a step in the right direction.
“I feel like it’s giving back to our community and giving back to us” as a salon as well, she said. “I think in today’s world, why not give a helping hand?”
Schön Salon is located in Suite 110 and can be reached by calling (502) 331-6071. From now until May 3, the salon will also collect empty hair product containers to be recycled and those who drop them off will be entered to win a basket of hair products.