A new 126,000-square-foot plant in Cambridge is now the biggest licensed private-sector recycling facility in Ontario, Waste Management Canada has announced.
An attempt to increase the waste diversion rate of businesses, which often fall well below residential rates, Waste Management officials say they are using an improved recycling process to support Ontario's landfill diversion goals and extracts more value from the waste coming into the plant.
"This new, state-of-the-art, single-stream recycling facility is the first of its kind for Waste Management of Canada," announced Brad Muter, Area VP for Eastern Canada at Waste Management. "Our goal was to target business customers in particular because they do not have as many recycling options as residential consumers. One of the biggest advantages of the single-stream process is the convenience it grants to the customer. Material separation and decisions about what goes in and what stays out are no longer required. Customers can send all their materials together."
The new plant will utilize a paper magnet, optical sorter, electro-magnetic technology and various screen sorters.
The facility is expected to process up to 550,000 tonnes of material per year from southwestern Ontario
The Cambridge facility has created approximately 80 new jobs, as well as indirect economic benefits for both the local Cambridge economy and the wider Ontario economy. Waste collected for the facility will come principally from southwestern Ontario, ranging from Niagara to Barrie, and Sarnia to Oshawa.
The single-stream recycling process will accept both industrial and municipal waste, with a significant focus on businesses, Waste Management says.
Waste Management believes “a single-stream process eliminates the need for businesses to separate plastics, metals and papers prior to collection and is expected to greatly improve participation by businesses, and in particular restaurants, in recycling,” the company wrote in a November 16, 2012 release to media.
The Cambridge facility kicked off its official opening with a ceremonial "blue box tipping" onto the plant's line by special guests Gary Goodyear, the federal Minister of State for Science and Technology, and Cambridge Mayor Doug Craig.
Ontario Environment Minister Jim Bradley voiced his support for the enhanced recycling opportunities the facility offers customers. "The new plant has the potential to dramatically increase diversion of waste to economic uses rather than taking up landfill space. It is also creating new green jobs."