November 15, 2014
Robert Roszell
Robert Roszell
When Robert Roszell of Tuff Tech Bags in Pickering joined Landscape Ontario in 2007, he immediately became involved as a volunteer.

“I believe in volunteering,” says Roszell. He says he gets back so much satisfaction and reward from volunteering, it is hard just to choose one area. “I like the interaction with people who have the same concerns as I do in business.”

Roszell also says he enjoys being able to participate in making changes to the world. “When volunteering, everyone seems to be happy helping out. Everyone seems to be enjoying doing something for someone else.”

When he joined Landscape Ontario, “I did it to hopefully sell my flexible rain barrels and Tuff Tech Bags,” says Roszell. The bags created by Roszell offer an alternative to plastic barrels or tanks. “Since the bags relate to snow and Ice, I joined that sector group committee.”

After attending a few sector group committee meetings, Roszell says he saw that the snow and ice group was very far behind in technology of spreading salt. “I then realized that my bags, which are used for anti-icing and pre-wetting, did not fit the market at the time.

About five years ago, Roszell began a process that could change the entire industry of snow and ice management. After raising sufficient money under Roszell’s leadership, the sector group hired a team of researchers from the University of Waterloo to research salt application rates for parking lots.

That research is very close to being finished. LO expects to release the study on salt application rates by the end of this year. “This is the only research in the world that examined salt applications of parking lots and established standards,” says Roszell, who serves as chair of the research committee.

“LO is beginning to venture in areas not yet travelled by any organization in the world by setting standards for parking lots. I think LO should look seriously at hiring someone to deal with snow and ice sector. In the U.S., they actually have a whole organization that deals with snow and ice with many employees,” said Roszell.

Now a member of the Risk Management Council for CNLA, Roszell also fills many other volunteer roles beyond LO, such as member of the spotlight committee for the Association of Ontario Road Supervisors, Canadian representative of the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association, He is a member of the board of directors for his cottage association and a mentor for Scouts Canada, hosting a winter weekend at his cottage and a seven- day wilderness canoe trip.

“This year we just got back from climbing the highest point in Ontario, Ishpatina Ridge,” says Roszell.

“I also sit on the board of directors for 10,000 Trees for The Rouge. This was our 25th anniversary. We had over 2,200 people show up for our spring tree planting which required us to have a bus to bring people to the site. That was one of my more memorable moments seeing all the people creating wildlife habitats in the field. The smiles at the tree planting last a whole year,” says Roszell.

It is just one of the many benefits Robert Roszell receives from giving his free time to others.