Waste Management to construct recycling plant in Cambridge, Ontario

from Solid Waste & Recycling magazine


Waste Management, Inc. recently announced that it will build a single-stream recycling centre in Cambridge, Ontario that will process up to 550,000 tonnes of material a year.

Waste Management has already acquired the property and existing plant at 505 Conestoga Blvd. and will now begin a major retrofit.

Scheduled to begin operations in fall 2012, it will be the largest private-sector recycling facility in Ontario. The total investment is expected to be $30 million.

Approximately 80 local green jobs will be created at the 126,000-squate-foot plant when it becomes operational, and this employment figure could increase as recycling volumes grow over time.

As well, the area economy will get a boost during the construction and operation of the centre as Waste Management sources local suppliers and contractors wherever possible.

A single-stream recycling facility (SSRF) eliminates the need for customers to separate recyclable materials prior to collection since sophisticated material-handling equipment inside the SSRF handles the task. This makes it easier for customers to recycle.

Experience has shown that recyclable material volumes increase an average of 20 to 30 per cent after customers switch to single-stream collection.

The Cambridge plant will use advanced technology -- such as magnets, screens and optical scanners -- to separate, sort and process a variety of materials, including:

-residential and commercial cardboard, paper, glass, plastics, and metals

-construction and demolition waste materials

-electronic equipment, such as cell phones and computers

-compact fluorescent light bulbs and batteries.

Brad Muter, Waste Management's vice president for eastern Canada, notes that the recycling centre will support Ontario's landfill diversion goals, and it furthers the company's commitment to helping customers extract more value from their waste.

"This project is one of several being undertaken by Waste Management in Ontario as part of the company's broad investment in new technologies to better manage waste for its resource potential," says Muter.

"[Waste Management] is much more than a waste collection company," he says. "Today we mine these materials for their valuable recyclable content. This is good for the environment, and quite frankly, good for business. It sets us apart in the environmental services field."

One of Waste Management's sustainability goals is to triple the volume of recyclable materials it processes by 2020.