MAXUS Technology Inc. announced the opening of its e-waste recycling facility in Rimbey, Alberta on September 25, 2002. E-waste is the term often used for all electronic equipment that has reached the end of its useful life. The lead and mercury found in such products can pose a serious contamination risk to our groundwater and soil. Currently no laws ban the landfilling of such material in Alberta. According to Shelley Whatmore, president of MAXUS, once fully operational, the facility will process over five million pounds of e-waste annually and employ over 120 people. (See article, page 6.)
Contact Clayton Miller at 403-255-3211
Multi-family recycling in Edmonton
Edmonton City Council has granted final approval to a plan that brings direct recycling collection to residents of Edmonton’s apartments, condos and townhouses as soon as December. Under the plan, residents of multi-family buildings will have the same opportunity to recycle as single-family homes. The program, which was launched in April 2002, is being implemented over 18 months, and will gradually bring all 115,000 multi-family residents on board. The goal is to service half of all sites by December and the remainder by October 2003. About 85 per cent of complexes will be equipped with blue front-end bins, while the remainder of sites will use blue bags, as do single family homes. When the program is fully implemented, the city plans to gather an additional 8,000 additional tonnes of recyclables each year.
Contact the Recycling Council of Alberta at 403-843-6563
RCO goes virtual
On September 1, 2002, the Recycling Council of Ontario (RCO) vacated its headquarters at 489 College Street in Toronto and will operate “virtually” for a trial six-month period. During this period the RCO will also consider whether this is a preferred, long-term option. The RCO can be contacted at P.O. Box 250, Station A, Toronto, ON M5W 1B2 Phone 416-657-2797 (Fax number, e-mail addresses and web site www.rco.on.ca remain the same.)
Toronto organics recycling
On September 17, 2002, more than 10,000 homeowners in Etobicoke, Ontario started to use their new green bins for the city’s first curbside pickup of wet, organic household waste. Approximately 70 per cent of homes are involved in the first collection in a weekly program that the city expects will divert 25,000 tonnes of organic waste from landfill. The material will be composted at the new $10-million Dufferin Organics Processing Facility. The program will be extended next year to include 460,00 households in the Greater Toronto Area. According to Geoff Rathbone, director of policy and planning in the city’s works department, the launch was a success.
Contact Geoff Rathbone at 416-392-4715 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Republic selects Dossier software
On August 21, 2002 Republic Services Inc., a leading provider of non-hazardous waste collection and removal services, selected Dossier32 Maintenance Management Software, developed by Arsenault Associates of Atco, New Jersey to control the maintenance and operating costs for its fleet of more than 6,500 units nationwide. Headquartered in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Republic operates a fleet of on- and off-road vehicles and equipment at numerous operational facilities across the U.S. Full implementation of the system is anticipated by mid 2003. The program will provide real-time cost analysis, track equipment utilization and fuel consumption, and more.
Contact Charles Arsenault at 856-767-6690
Clean Power acquires landfill gas generator
Late this summer Clean Power Income Fund made a US$93-million deal to acquire a U.S. landfill gas generator. California-based Gas Recovery System Inc. — the largest independent landfill gas generator in North America — will continue to run the company under a management contract. Clean Power’s assets include two hydroelectric facilities in B.C. and two in Ontario. Gas Recovery owns and operates 29 power-producing assets in nine states. According to Peter Korth, Clean Power’s CFO, the transaction offers diversification to investors in a high-quality, long-term portfolio of assets.
Contact Peter Korth at 416-777-2800
World Summit on Sustainable Development
The United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development, which was held in Johannesburg, South Africa from August 26 to September 4, 2002, brought together thousands of government officials, non-governmental organizations, businesses and other civil society members to discuss the global environment and develop a plan for sustainable development. The WSSD, the United Nations and the South African government applied “Zero Waste” principles to the summit. The Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives and Earthlife Africa led the campaign to divert 90 per cent of the waste and to ensure that none was sent to incinerators.
The Canadian Environmental Network Forum Report for the WSSD, “Summit or Plummet?” includes a paper on IT equipment recycling by SW&R Editor Connie Vitello.
For a copy of the paper, call Connie Vitello at 416-442-2292
For more information on the WSSD, visit www.earthsummit2002.org
Border guards may block waste haulers
The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a measure that adds funds to the U.S. Customs Service for more border inspectors. Currently about 85 semi-trailer trucks a day haul waste to Michigan landfills. When the Keele Valley landfill closes at the end of the year, the number of trucks could rise to approximately 125. Inspectors who find items such as medical waste, PCBs, tires and scrap metal, could stop the shipment from entering the U.S. The additional six inspectors at the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel and Ambassador Bridge could slow the flow of trucks. The city already screens unacceptable items, including tires, medical waste, and PCBs, at transfer stations before waste is sent to Michigan, but scrap metal can be difficult to monitor.
Toronto disposes about 1.1 million tonnes of waste a year to landfill. The city is currently initiating a new waste diversion strategy to increase overall diversion rates in general and organic diversion rates in particular. (See article “Journey of a Thousand Miles” in the August/September 2002 edition.)
Nova Scotia sewage woes
The Province of Nova Scotia recently moved closer to initiating the cleanup of raw sewage in its harbour. The federal government has pledged $30-million and on September 18 Premier John Hamm announced that the provincial government would invest $30-million of the $315-million needed to build three sewage treatment facilities. There has been public outcry to cleanup the approximately 180 million litres of raw sewage that flows into the harbour daily — enough to fill about 25 Olympic-sized swimming pools. While the municipality would like to build the treatment plants within one year, plans will likely be delayed due to receiving about half as much from the federal government than was expected.
For articles on sewage sludge treatment, see Composting Matters column (page 42), and the “Sewage sludge controversy reports” section in the “Posted documents” button at www.solidwastemag.com.
Northern Alberta recycling show
Northern Coordinated Action for Recycling Enterprises (Northern CARE) held its 3rd Annual Northern Alberta Recycling Workshop and Trade Fair on September 11 to 13, 2002 in the Town of Athabasca. Over 70 delegates attended the workshop, which focused on waste minimization and recycling in northern Alberta. Workshop topics included: waste to energy operations, landfill codes of practice and due diligence, the pro
incial waste management strategy and successful recycling programs in northern Alberta. Tours were provided of Athabasca’s new regional waste management facilities and Alberta-Pacific’s operations. Northern CARE is a non-profit organization established in 1994 for the purpose of advancing recycling initiatives and waste management programs in northern Alberta. Members include representatives from municipal and provincial governments, industry, education, media, community recycling organizations and waste management businesses.
Contact Christine Della Costa at 1-866-818-2273 or visit www.northerncare.org
Almost “zero waste” at WSSD
One of the success stories of the recently ended World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa was the “Zero Waste” project. The Earthlife Africa (ELA) Zero Waste project, with support from the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA), outperformed all the other summit venues with regard to minimization and diversion of waste. Preliminary figures show diversion of between 70 per cent and 80 per cent. The project began by attempting to divert as much waste as possible (particularly plastics, with a focus on PVC and polystyrene) and providing educational information systems, and an emission-free waste collection (on specially designed tricycles) deployed by an enthusiastic team of workers. Some attempts to divert waste were not successful, as water was still sold in PET (plastics) bottles, and lids and straws were still used, despite Coca Cola’s initial agreement not to use these products.
Contact Muna Lakhani at +27-834-717276 or email@example.com
Environment ministries in Ontario
Ontario Premier Ernie Eves shuffled his Cabinet this summer, separating the environment and energy portfolios. The premier acknowledged that the combined responsibilities of implementing Walkerton water recommendations, dealing with the controversies around Hydro One (market competition and executive compensation issues) and the Kyoto protocol were too great for one cabinet Minister. MP Chris Stockwell remains Minister of the Environment while MP John Baird heads up the new Energy Ministry.
Peel fuel funds
On September 6, 2002 the Region of Peel in Ontario announced it will take steps to strengthen waste management practices thanks to $100,000 in funds from the Green Municipal Funds (GMF) for a study to investigate an innovative approach to divert solid waste and biosolids from landfills. The process, which combines “stabilate” (dried waste free of recyclables and organics) with dried sewage sludge produces a waste-derived fuel as its end product. A drying technology, developed by HYGREX ™ Industries of Bolton, Ontario will be in place and operational by the fall. (For more information on Peel Region, see article, page 14.)
The federal government has endowed $250-million to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) to establish and manage the GMF. The funds began operating in 2000 to stimulate environmental projects launched by municipal governments and their partners to cut pollution, reduce greenhouse gases and improve municipal services. The funds leverage larger amounts for studies and projects through contributions by municipalities and private-sector partnerships.
To find out how to apply for funds, visit the FCM web site www.fcm.ca
Some common herbicides produced and marketed by Dow AgroSciences cause significant financial harm to composting operations, according to the GrassRoots Recycling Network (GRN). The North American network of waste reduction activists and professionals promoting producer responsibility also accuses the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of virtually closing the door for public comments on this important issue. Clopyralid, the active ingredient in Dow herbicides like Confront, allegedly has a record of contaminating compost. In an effort to preempt a stronger state ban in California, Dow asked U.S. EPA to be allowed to simply add a warning to product labels cautioning commercial users not to apply the herbicide on turf that could be composted. The public comment period was perceived to be too brief.
According to Susan Antler, executive director of The Composting Council of Canada, clopyralid is not approved for residential use products in Canada.
Contact Bill Sheehan at 706-613-7121 or visit www.grrn.org/dow/background.html
“Take it Back!” call for papers
Raymond Communications is planning the next “Take it Back! Conference” for February 24 – 26, 2003 in Alexandria Virginia, D.C. This year’s conference will be co-sponsored by Foresite Systems Ltd., makers of the world’s leading recycling-fee software. The conference seeks speakers to present packaging case studies. Non-vendor speakers generally receive free admission to the conference (a $780 value). Hotel can be provided for some foreign speakers, and other perks are negotiable.
Contact Michelle Raymond at 301-345-4237 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Charles Dutil, president and COO of Manac based in Saint-Georges, Quebec recently announced that Roger Gendron will assume complete responsibility of Manac sales throughout Canada and the U.S. Mr. Gendron has worked for Manac since 1982 as vice president, sales for Quebec, the Maritimes, and New England. Manac is the largest Canadian manufacturer of quality semi-trailers for the road and forestry transportation industry and is ranked fifth in North America. The company operates plants in Saint-Georges, Trois Rivires and Saint-Prime in Quebec; Orangeville, Ontario; and Oran, Missouri.
Contact Franois Bgin at 418 228-8031 or email@example.com