Pam Penner, value added recycling
Now, it’s Pam Penner’s turn.
Like Wayne Kingdon and Ian Broome before her, Pam is in charge of Eastview Landfill operations, and like them, she has become a champion of diverting material from landfill cells.
While extending the life of the landfill by redirecting recyclable material is the goal, it isn’t the only reason the three became diversion advocates.
“You just see how much more can be done with the material instead of just burying it,” Pam says.
Waste diversion wasn’t on the agenda when Brandon’s Eastview Landfill site opened in 1977.
As in most regions across the country, all material that came on-site was routinely buried underground.
Today, diversion is standard practice at Eastview.
Change began in the early 1990s when Wayne started looking at how to improve on-site waste management.
He first launched a windrow composting operation using yard waste, wood, manure and straw.
Today, Eastview is the site of Manitoba’s leading large scale composting operation.
Plant life is also thriving – the site’s organics windrows are sprouting flowers, pumpkins, gourds and mushrooms.
It is also the drop-off site for material such as Household Hazardous Waste, electronics, metal, wood, and tires.
A successful curbside recycling and organics program is also in place.
Since becoming Public Works manager in 2013 Pam has focused her attention on Eastview’s potential to move on from merely collecting recyclable materials.
“We want to show people what we can do with the material after it is collected,” she says.
The first such initiative involves creating and marketing a compost product that will meet the needs of the agriculture industry.
And, with Pam at the helm, the future of this venture looks bright.
That she is an entrepreneur at heart is borne out by the fact that Pam started a business at age thirteen.
“A group from the Business Development Bank came to our high school in Rossburn and made a presentation offering an interest-free loan to students wanting to start a business,” she says.
“I knew the Rossman Lake Golf Course didn’t have a pro shop and thought there was a huge opportunity to provide those services.”
Having to create a business plan to secure the loan, find suppliers, and build an inventory can be overwhelming to entrepreneurs of any age, let alone someone barely into their teens.
Pam successfully operated the business until she graduated from high school in 2000.
She then completed a Business Administration diploma at Assiniboine Community College.
Next, Pam earned a Bachelor of Business Administration, Accounting and Finance, from Brandon University.
(It’s quite likely that none of Pam’s fellow students’ post secondary education was funded by profits from a business they operated in high school).
For the next ten years, Pam worked in finance related positions.
First as a municipal auditor with MNP, then finance officer for Sioux Valley Dakota Nation.
She followed this up with positions at the City of Brandon beginning with the Treasury department.
An internal move to Operations as Financial Supervisor led to her current role as manager of Public Works.
Having a financial background and the ability to ‘see the big picture’ is an advantage when launching new ventures.
Developing a viable business plan is one of Pam’s strengths, another is to involve others to help produce the desired result.
“I enjoy working with people and being creative,” she says.
“At Eastview there is so much potential for us to go beyond collecting and sending material on to others for processing.”
Pam’s commitment to Eastview is inspired by the attitude of the staff.
“Everyone feels that everything they do is making a difference, it’s more than a job to them,” she says.
– Reprinted from Brandon Now magazine
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The importance of magnesium
When it comes to health benefits, some minerals get more attention than the others.
Typically, magnesium doesn’t get the attention it deserves.
Magnesium is involved in over 300 different biochemical processes in the body, including those involved in muscle, nerve, cardiovascular and bone health.
It is also important to maintaining proper blood pressure and sugar levels and a healthy heartbeat.
Unfortunately, magnesium is very commonly deficient in North Americans.
A magnesium deficiency in humans can cause such symptoms as confusion, insomnia, accelerated heartbeat, seizures, muscle weakness and twitching, chronic pain and fatigue, and a host of cardiovascular issues.
Magnesium is naturally found in our diets in meats, dairy, fish, fruits and sea food.
If one is still not getting sufficient magnesium, there are magnesium supplements of magnesium citrate or glycinate that can help to prevent a deficiency.
There are blood and cellular tests available that can determine your magnesium status, so that you can learn if you need to supplement your diet.
If you think you might be deficient in magnesium levels, don’t ignore it – talk to your health care practitioner.