Lafarge’s Bath Cement Plant in Ontario has won the prestigious Overall Environmental Excellence Award. This is the third time a Canadian cement plant has been recognized in the history of the award. The plant was selected by an independent panel for its commitment to improving the environment and surrounding communities at the 9th Annual Cement Industry Environment and Energy Awards, presented by Portland Cement Association (PCA) and Cement Americas magazine in Chicago on April 27, 2010.
There are over 100 cement plants in North America and this is the fourth time that a Canadian plant (one has won twice) has been awarded the top honor for its overall environmental performance. The award honors individual cement plants that exemplify the spirit of continuous environmental improvement and support this spirit with action. In addition to winning the top environmental award, the plant was also recognized in the Land Stewardship and Innovation categories.
The awards program was created in 2000 by the Portland Cement Association. PCA and Cement Americas magazine presented the first Cement Industry Environmental Awards in 2002; the program is open to cement manufacturing plants in North America. Judges for the 2010 awards represent independent groups such as World Resources Institute, World Wildlife Fund, National Ready Mix Concrete Association, U.S. EPA-ENERGY STAR, U.S. EPA-Office of Policy, Economics and Innovation, Cement Association of Canada, Cement Americas, and the U.S. Geological Survey.
In 2009, the Lafarge Bath plant completed a range of environmental and energy efficiency projects. A number of initiatives identified included:
• As part of its climate change programs, university researchers have planted hybridized poplar species at the facility and other crops as possible renewable biomass energy sources. The facility also worked with local farmers to raise crops for a biomass fuel demonstration, and more than 950 bales of fuel crops are now ready for use.
• With kiln operation and quarry changes, the facility has nearly eliminated cement kiln dust (CKD) byproduct production, replacing landfilling with on-site re-use.
• The ISO 14001 Certified Bath Cement plant has 8.2 per cent recycled content in its cement, has been certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council for efforts to improve local wildlife habitat, and has also been recognized by the Wild Turkey Federation.
• The Bath plant continues to be an active community leader, sponsoring the fireworks for the Bath Canada Day Celebrations for over 25 years straight, among many other community programs, along with a robust community outreach program including a liaison committee, newsletters, University and College tours, and a plant website.
• Lastly with the help of 250 local scouts, leaders, and parents, the facility planted 3,000 trees on the plant property for habitat restoration and climate change education and mitigation.
Edmonton bins singing the blues
Recycling blue bins around Edmonton are feeling a little lonely and misunderstood. They’ve started to sing the blues to remind people to recycle more and to recycle the right stuff.
The City’s Waste Management Branch is giving the blue bin a voice as part of a new recycling campaign targeted at apartment and condominium dwellers. Unacceptable materials in blue bins damage processing equipment and pose a safety hazard to employees at the recycling facility. Some of the common unacceptable materials found in blue bins include food waste, furniture, tires, fabric, bike chains and garden hoses.
“Edmonton is known as a world leader in recycling,” says Councillor Jane Batty. “Our success is built on Edmontonians’ dedication to the environment, and this education program serves to remind residents of the importance of recycling and how to do it right.”
Blue Bin appreciates the chance to reach out. “I get a little down when I see people visiting my pal garbage bin with stuff meant for me,” said Blue Bin. “It’s the same when people give me just any old trash. I got a case of the blue bin blues.”
The education program includes motion-sensor sound devices mounted in 400 blue bins throughout the city. Blue Bins crooned their recycling tunes from late May through June.
“The Bin Blues campaign is a fun way to remind people of the importance of recycling, and of recycling the right materials,” says Connie Boyce, Director of Community Relations for the Waste Management Branch. “The objective is to reduce the number of plant shutdowns that are caused by unacceptable material and to prevent injury to workers.”
A list of acceptable material is on the city website at www.edmonton.ca/waste
Vancouver’s environmental and energy efficiency measures attracted attention during the recent winter Olympic Games, but the city’s efforts did not end with the Closing Ceremonies. Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson has made it his city’s stated goal to be the greenest city by 2020.
In celebration of Earth Day in April, the City of Vancouver and organic waste recycling company Harvest Power launched a food waste diversion program. Additionally, neighboring communities in the Metro Vancouver region — including the City of Port Coquitlam, City of Port Moody, City of Burnaby and City Richmond — are all taking similar steps to reduce the amount of waste they send to landfills. Food waste is collected through curbside pickup, just like other recyclable materials. It’s then taken to Richmond, where Harvest owns and operates one of North America’s largest permitted food waste and yard waste composting facilities, Fraser Richmond Soil & Fibre (FRSF).
“By partnering with Harvest Power and Fraser Richmond for our new curbside compost program, Vancouver is taking a major step forward to reduce our waste and environmental impact,” says Mayor Gregor Robertson. “We know it’s working in other cities and can be a big success here. We’re asking Vancouver residents to pitch in, recycle their food scraps, and help us reach our goal of becoming the world’s greenest city by 2020.”_
According to the US EPA, about 55 per cent of all waste is some kind of organic material — meaning it can be turned into both compost and renewable energy. Composting at FRSF is already underway and can produce hundreds of thousands of cubic yards of high-value products annually. Harvest’s Covered Aerated Static Pile technology results in more efficient composting with minimal odour.