Cleaning Up With Armow Wind

Pattern Canada Stories

Written By: Pattern Stories

Ditches around the Armow Wind site are much cleaner now, thanks to a little teamwork.

Facility Manager Robert Boak says the team at Armow Wind just finished their annual clean-up event.

“Every year, we try to make the community around us a little bit better. One way we do that is by cleaning the garbage out of the ditches,” he explains.

The idea started when they noticed that the roads near the local dump filled up with trash.

“A lot of the garbage had blown into the ditch, and we spent the day getting it all cleaned up. Ever since then, the dump has been keeping it tidy. So that was good to see. Since then, we have been looking for more ways to be involved in the community, and someone mentioned the road we’re on. Lots of people drive on it every day going to and from Bruce Power,” he says.

The Armow Wind team after a full day cleaning out the ditches.

Getting to Work

Each year, the team gears up to clean up both sides of a roughly seven-kilometre stretch of road, with a little help from their neighbours.

“The team we hired to maintain the turbines shares our building, so they help us out as well. We put on our reflective PPW, go out in pairs, and clean up sections of the road before getting picked up and driven to the next spot along the way,” he explains.

Robert says as they pick up the garbage and place it into bags, it’s interesting to see what ends up in the ditches.

Jon Sommers with the Availability Belt.

All Kinds of Garbage

“Beer cans, water bottles, newspapers, plastic bags, lunch containers, and lots of plastic. We do find some things like dinner plates, household items, lamps, or chairs—all kinds of strange stuff that finds its way from a vehicle into the ditch,” he explains.

Typically, they sort the debris between garbage and recycling, but there’s a new idea for the future: donating the beer cans to local charities to return for cash.

“That’s a great idea that we should do in the future,” Robert says.

While cans and plastic are the most common form of trash they find every year, Robert was expecting something else to take the top spot this year.

“We didn’t find as many masks as I thought we would find,” he says. “I thought that we would have found a lot of them, but we only found three or four of them in total. We did find a decent amount of gloves, though.” 

Team Building Year Round

The clean-up event is just one of the many ways the Armow Wind team works together for a common goal. In 2021, they received the Availability Belt.

“There’s always a friendly competition with all the operations sites within the Pattern fleet on who can have the most turbines available to produce energy. That means reducing your downtime, and that’s done by being really proactive with your services and parts replacement, troubleshooting, coming in on weekends, and staying late. It comes with a bit of sacrifice from the team to be able to achieve that,” Robert explains.

Robert says he can’t take any credit for the honour. It’s all thanks to the teams and technicians who make it possible. But it does come with a fun perk.

“We had a large WWE-style belt made up and whoever wins the belt for that year gets to keep it, and we have their name inscribed on the side with the year that they won it. We were able to capture that for 2021. Everyone works pretty hard for it to capture that milestone,” Robert says.

The Armow Wind Team proudly displaying the Every Megawatt Counts Availability Belt.
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