CleanFarms sets up plastic recycling pilot for Alberta Farms

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The Agricultural Plastics Recycling Group (APRG) through Alberta Beef Producers (ABP) are moving ahead with their three-year pilot to collect plastic twine and grain bags from Alberta farmers.  The program is being run by CleanFarms, a Canadian non-profit industry stewardship organization committed to environmental responsibility through the proper management of agricultural packaging and product waste.

Funding for the program is coming from the Alberta government and the administered by the Alberta Beef Producers are responsible for administering it.

Under the pilot program, farmers can drop off plastic at 20 collection sites around the province. Details on collection sites are online at the Collection Sites page at cleanfarms.ca.

Cleanfarms, who is responsible for running the Alberta pilot program, also runs grain bag recycling programs in Saskatchewan, and empty container recycling in Manitoba and Quebec.

Grain bags and twine represent 50% of all plastics generated on-farm in Alberta. The other 50% of plastics not included in the pilot collection are bale wrap and silage plastic, netting, supersacks, greenhouse film and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) containers.

Currently, there are two facilities in North America recycling grain bags; one in Canada and one in the USA. Current markets are washing and pelletizing grain bags for use in other blow-molding applications. More infrastructure is currently being built in Western Canada.

With respect to twine recycling, there are two recycling facilities in the United States. One recycler is washing and pelletizing for re-manufacture and the other is cleaning and shredding for use in the roofing industry.

Saskatoon’s considering Recycling and Organics programs for IC&I Sector

The City of Saskatoon, is considering options for requirements for recycling and organics for the Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional (IC&I) sector. At present, the Administration is recommending that the IC&I sector be required to have separate containers for garbage and recycling and, if food or yard waste is generated as part of operations, a separate container for organics. Implementing this approach will involve an amendment to the City’s Waste Bylaw.

“A more comprehensive organics and recycling program is critical to achieving our waste diversion goals and extending the life of our landfill,” says Jeanna South, Director of Sustainability. “This cannot fall only on residents; Saskatoon businesses and organizations must participate when it comes to waste diversion and environmental leadership.”

The IC&I sector generates 68% of all garbage sent to Saskatoon and area landfills, with approximately 45% (75,800 tonnes) representing recyclables or organics that could be diverted.

“24% of what is landfilled by the City is from the IC&I sector, which represents a significant diversion opportunity that can’t be ignored,” adds South.

Option 1, being recommended by the Administration comes with the following requirements from members of the IC&I sector:

  • Separate and labelled containers for recycling and garbage
  • A separate container for organics if food or yard waste is generated as part of operations
  • Education on how to properly sort and store materials for employees and tenants
  • Ensuring removal and proper disposal of waste

To support this proposed program, the City engaged with 870 participants from businesses and organizations through workshops, online surveys, and face-to-face meetings.

The 2019 IC&I Waste and Recycling Survey and the 2019 Waste and Recycling Survey (residential) revealed high levels of support from residents, businesses and organizations for the implementation of recycling and organics requirements for the IC&I sector.  Saskatoon’s diversion rate is one of the lowest in Canada when benchmarked against other Canadian cities.

“The recommended option comes at a lower cost than the others, and has been successfully implemented in other municipalities,” says South. “It will give us the best chance of meeting residents’ expectations of the ICI sector and achieving our waste diversion goals.”

Option 1 was the most preferred mandatory approach by stakeholders. The Waste Diversion Options Fact Sheet provides a more detailed comparison of the options presented.

GFL and American Waste Announce Merger

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GFL Environmental Inc. , headquartered in Vaughan, Ontario, and American Waste recently announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement for the acquisition by GFL of American Waste’s solid and liquid waste businesses in Michigan and Pennsylvania. The closing of the transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and is expected to be completed in February 2020.

GFL says in U.S. regulatory filings that the deal includes US$360 million in cash plus US$20 million in non-voting shares.

Founded in 1971 as Northern A -1, American Waste and Northern A-1 is a vertically integrated provider of environmental solutions for a broad base of solid and liquid waste customers. The current owners of American Waste, Michael and Edward Ascione, will be joining GFL and will continue to manage the American Waste businesses.

In a news release, Eddie Ascione stated; “Mike and I carefully chose to merge with GFL because of our similar lines of business, GFL’s down to earth senior management team and decentralized operations approach. We believe American and Northern A-1’s expertise in serving both our solid and liquid waste customers is a great fit with GFL’s focus on delivering comprehensive environmental solutions.”

American Waste is one of several acquisitions GFL has made in recent months, including County Waste of Virginia, AGI Group of Companies, and the Soil Safe group of companies.

Pointe-Claire looking for households to enter Zero-Waste Challenge

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The City of Pointe-Claire, a suburb of Greater Montreal, is planning to conduct a Zero-Waste Challenge and is looking for eight households to participate. The challenge will involve the households adopting best practices for the management of household waste.

“This initiative is part of our collective desire to make Pointe-Claire a city dedicated to sustainable development, both through our municipal actions and the promotion of citizen practices that contribute to environmental protection,” stated Mayor John Belvedere in a news release.

From March to October 2020, the chosen households will have to come up with ideas and take concrete steps to reduce waste at the source, that is, from the moment of purchase. To do so, they will benefit from a coaching service and will rely on a diagnosis of their lifestyle, a realistic and appropriate target, tips and tricks and telephone support. A conference and workshops will also be offered: making home-made household and personal care products, and preparing zero-waste lunches.

To track their progress, the eight households will have to commit to weighing household, organic and recyclable waste every month for the seven months of the challenge.

“Everyone is invited to take part in this challenge, which is an opportunity to make a tangible contribution to protecting our planet by limiting the amount of waste that ends up in landfills,” Mayor Belvedere stated.

Households interested in taking part in the challenge have until February 5 to apply to City.

Micron Waste suspends development of cannabis waste treatment technology

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Micron Waste Technologies Inc. (CSE: MWM, OTC: MICWF), an organic waste technology company, recently announced that it has suspended development of the cannabis-industry waste digester system in light of changing market conditions. The company stated that a longer product development was required to reach the commercialization stage of the cannabis waste treatment system.

In its news release, the company stated that the cannabis industry is not currently funding new technologies and this has resulted in a lower outlook on the commercial viability of the company’s Cannavore™ system.

The CannavoreTM is an integrated cannabis waste shredder, microbial digester, and water treatment system. It is designed to operate outside of the facility and has safeguards to prevent biological contamination in the cultivation facility.

In 2017, Micron Waste Technologies signed a non-binding agreement with Aurora Cannabis under which Micron would install an organic waste digester unit at one of Aurora’s growing facilities and where the companies would work to optimize the technology for the cannabis industry.  Under the agreement, Aurora (TSX:ACB) would have the option to buy additional units for its other facilities at a preferred price once the optimization program is complete and is proven viable.

The Company will continue to focus on developing its Organivore™ organic food waste digester and effluent treatment systems.

The company also announced it is actively seeking to leverage the company’s approximately $3M working capital and 2.5M shares of Palladium One Mining Inc. to review potential value-enhancing strategic acquisitions.

BIOREM Announces Joint Venture in China

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BIOREM Inc. (TSXV: BRM), an Ontario-based clean technology company focused on air emissions control, recently announced that it has entered into a joint venture with a Chinese company to establish Zhongjia Clean Technology (Wuhu) Co., Ltd in China.  The joint venture is another phase in BIOREM’s growth and development strategy for the country.

“We are pleased to take this next step in developing the Chinese market for our innovative brand of air emission abatement solutions.” said Derek S. Webb, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We pride ourselves in the speed and quality of our response to customer needs, and Zhongjia will provide the ideal vehicle to replicate that level of service to our important customers in China.”

The initial focus of the joint venture company will be to sell and service customers in need of air abatement services.  The company will provide a wide range of physical, chemical, thermal and biological solutions in China’s industrial heartland.

“While Zhongjia will provide greater coverage for BIOREM’s sales efforts in China,” continued Webb, “this Joint Venture is part of a wider effort for economic cooperation in the areas of technology transfer and cleantech innovation development between Canada and China.”

About BIOREM Inc.
BIOREM is a leading clean technology company that designs, manufactures and distributes a comprehensive line of high-efficiency air emissions control systems used to eliminate odors, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and hazardous air pollutants (HAPs). The company has more than 1500 installed systems worldwide. Additional information on BIOREM is available on our website at www.biorem.biz.

City of Saskatoon planning landfill expansion

The City of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan is moving ahead with plans for an expansion of its existing landfill. City Council recently approved plans for expansion estimated at $31.3 million.

With the capacity of the existing landfill space, Council decided on the expansion. With the expansion, combined with planned waste diversion activities, the landfill could last another 50 years.

Besides landfill expansion, the monies will be used in the development of recycling area called Recovery Park. The Park will include new weigh scales, a space for recycling construction and demolition waste, a household hazardous waste collection depot, composting, recycling and a gently used item exchange.

In 2016, The City of Saskatoon worked with a consultant to characterize the composition of waste actually going to landfills. The resulting study found that the Saskatoon’s landfilled waste streams were made up largely of materials that should be diverted away from landfills. Overall, 17% of the waste headed for landfills was recyclable, and 32% was food and yard waste that could be composted or handled in some other appropriate way. Thus, approximately half the waste going to landfills could be diverted.  This amount is in addition to the 23 percent that is already being diverted. Saskatoon City Council has set a target of 70% waste diversion by 2023.  

Ontario: Fines issued to anaerobic digester companies related to odour complaints

The Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation, and Parks (MOECP) continues to actively prosecute anaerobic digester companies for odour issues. The Environment Ministry recently issued news releases detailing the latest convictions.

Kirchmeier Renergy Inc.

In one of the latest environmental convictions related to odour issues, Kirchmeier Renergy Inc., located in St. Isidore, was found guilty of providing false information on Environment Ministry inspectors during an investigation to odour complaints. The company was fined $25,000 for the violation plus a victim surcharge of $6,250.

The conviction stems from an incident in the summer of 2017 in which Ontario Environment Ministry staff visited the Kirchmeier Renergy anaerobic digester facility to investigate several odour complaints. During the course of the investigation, the company provided information on the liquid waste it received as feedstock that contradicted information the Ministry received from suppliers of the liquid waste.

The Kirchmeier Renergy facility is an on-farm anaerobic digester located near the Village of St. Isadore, approximately 75 km east of Ottawa. The facility generates electricity under Ontario’s feed-in-tariff renewable energy program. The digester processes 10,000 m3 of waste per year including manure from 150 cattle on the farm.

Stormfisher Environmental Ltd.

In another recent odour-related conviction, Stormfisher Environmental Ltd., located in London, was convicted of permitting a discharge of odour in the natural environment that was likely to cause an adverse effect and for failing to comply with its Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA) when it kept it facility doors open.

Stormfisher was convicted of two violations under the Environmental Protection Act and was fined $50,000 plus a victim fine surcharge of $12,500.  As part of the resolution, Stormfisher has agreed to contribute between $120,000 and $150,000 towards the cost of establishing an air monitoring program in south London.

The conviction stems from an Environment Ministry investigation in the summer of 2016 after it received several odour complaints. During the course of the investigation, inspectors noted that the doors to the feedstock reception hall were left open for 12 minutes without any truck activity and gauged the odours intensity at an 8 out of 10.

Stormfisher owns and operates that anaerobic digester and processes green bin waste from a number of southern Ontario municipalities. The biogas produced from the process used to generate 2.85 MW of electricity under Ontario’s feed-in-tariff renewable energy program.

Since 2016, Stormfisher has made a number of upgrades to odour control and management its facility. Odours are measured at the facility using a state-of-the-art electronic nose developed at the University of Montreal and commercialized by Odotech. The e-nose can measure odour units at the facility and predict the downgradient odour concentrations in real-time.

Stormfisher has also upgraded its odour treatment capabilities and utilizes state-of-the-art odour treatment technology provided by BIOREM Inc. The BIOREM Inc. odour control system is a sophisticated biological treatment system for odours.

Li-Cycle Ships First Commercial Load of Recycled Battery Material to Customer

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Li-Cycle Corp., a Ontario-based based lithium-ion battery recovery company, recently announced the maiden shipment of commercial product, containing energy metals concentrate, has been made to a customer.

Li-Cycle’s First Commercial Shipment

The shipped product comprised of cobalt, nickel and lithium recovered from lithium-ion batteries and was produced at Li-Cycle’s processing facility in Ontario, Canada.

“The first shipment of commercial product marks a significant milestone for Li-Cycle, on the Company‘s path to becoming a premier resource recovery company and processor, handling all types of lithium-ion batteries from a broad set of customers and applications,” commented Ajay Kochhar, President and CEO of Li-Cycle. “As we grow our business, we look forward to continuing to provide sustainable and technologically innovative solutions to solve our global customers’ end-of-life lithium-ion battery challenges.”

Li-Cycle Technology uses a combination of mechanical size reduction and hydro-metallurgical resource recovery specifically designed for lithium-ion battery recycling. The technology can do so with a recovery rate of 80 to 100% of all materials.

Li-Cycle’s core business model is to build, own, and operate lithium-ion battery recycling plants tailored to regional needs.

Montreal’s Zero Waste Master Plan

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The City of Montreal has started public consultations on its master plan for waste disposal over the next five years. The City has a goal of being a zero waste municipality by 2030. If successful, waste diversion from landfill will be 75% by 2025 and 85% by 2030.

Zero waste is based on the idea of a circular economy, where virtually everything is reused, recycled or composted instead of being sent to landfill.

The average Canadian generates approximately one tonne of waste per year. City of Montreal officials that the zero waste goal can be achieved by each citizen actively participating in the 3R’s and a reduction of waste produced by each Montrealer by about 10 kilograms a year.

The Average Canadian generates almost one tonne per waste per year

The proposed five-year plan marks a departure from previous efforts in that it seeks to reduce consumption at the source rather than solely focusing on pick-up, transport, recycling, and disposal.

Public education is high on the list of priorities for the City if it is to achieve its ambitious zero waste goal within 10 years. Officials say they are also hoping to encourage people to question their own consumption habits by opting for greener products and ‘reducing and reusing’ before buying.

A major part of the city’s plan on reducing waste is for an expansion of compost pickup to businesses , schools and apartment buildings with six or more units (approximately 50% of municipal solid waste can be classified as organic) and banning types of plastic that are hard to recycle.

Included in Montreal’s five-year plan is for gradually prohibiting grocery stores from throwing out unsold food and banning disposal of unsold clothing by garment manufacturers and retailers.