News Release Archive

Entrepreneurship appears to be second nature to Matt Hennigar, a
Grade 11 student at Cornwallis District High in Canning. At the
age of 11 he ran a successful bicycle repair business. Now, five
years later, he has embarked on his second entrepreneurial

Mr. Hennigar has discovered a way to take the elbow grease out of
cleaning recyclable buckets, while making a fat profit. Early in
the winter, he was approached by Rufus Ells, a local farmer, who
asked if he would like to hand-clean buckets at 25 cents each.
Mr. Ells collects buckets of discarded deep-fryer fat from Nova
Scotia restaurants and resells the used fat to a rendering plant. 
The buckets are then cleaned and sold to a recycling company.
Hennigar liked the idea of recycling but thought there should be
a more efficient way of washing the buckets. With the help of a
$2,000 loan from the Youth Entrepreneurial Skills (YES) program
of  Nova Scotia Economic Development and Tourism, he is
developing an automated bucket washer that runs on an air system. 

The buckets are manually placed in the washer, where they are
carried along by a hooked chain. As the buckets reach the end of
the cycle, a mechanical cylinder extends nozzles inside the
buckets, cleaning them with high pressure water and soap. The
washer can clean three buckets a minute.   

Developing the washer operation involved designing and building
the mechanical system, and putting together a plan for business.
"The loan has given me enough money to buy the parts to build
this equipment and I'll have enough to ship the buckets for the
first load," said Mr. Hennigar. 

The YES program provides loans to full-time students between the
ages of 16 and 29 who wish to set up and operate their own
business. The program helps participants prepare a business plan
and provides business counselling and training. Students must
apply to Economic Development and Tourism and, if eligible, may
receive a loan of up to $5,000.  

Mr. Hennigar was also helped by Scotia Machining Services, a
machine shop in the Coldbrook Industrial Park. "They've supplied
me with a lot of parts and knowledge."

Once the washer is functional, Mr. Hennigar will be setting it up
in one of  Ells's buildings where nearly 10,000 buckets are
stockpiled. After they are cleaned, the buckets will be shipped
to a recycling plant in Quebec. "It's actually diverting a ton a
week from the landfill," he said.
Mr. Hennigar plans to maintain his bucket-washing business
throughout the year. "I hope to gain a good part-time job that
goes all year. Another possibility is finding a market for that
piece of equipment when it's fully functional."

Mr. Hennigar hopes to become an engineer. Taking into account his
experience, both with fixing bicycles and building
bucket-washers, he appears to be on the right track.


Contact: Angela Campbell
         Economic Development and Tourism

NOTE TO EDITORS: Colour photos available upon request.

ngr                  August 25, 1997 - 8:45 am