Our journey towards ZERO WASTE
At EMR we realize the importance of recycling; our resources won’t last forever and landfilling is unsustainable. The cost of waste disposal is rising and recycling rates are becoming increasingly challenging.
Our traditional shredding process focuses on extracting metals in high volumes. Once the high volume of metal is recovered, there is a leftover residue which is made up of small metal fragments, plastics, foam, glass, aggregates, wood, textiles, rubber and water. This residue is commonly sent to landfill as it is considered too expensive or complicated to recover.
Not content with 15 million tons of CO2 we save each year through our core metal recycling activities, we are pushing the boundaries to recycle this residue. By working with world class technology companies we should soon be able to increase recycling rates to 99% and produce significantly more “green energy” from our operations than we actually use, putting EMR at the forefront of metal recycling and making us the one of the world’s most sustainable material recycling companies.
Post-shredder advanced metal separation
We have developed our own unique technologies in house which further separate the residue leftover from the shredding process. This produces streams of additional recovered metals, aggregates, plastics and combustible fraction. The metals and aggregates are sold on to end markets, with the plastics and combustible to be processed further at our joint venture facilities.
Our joint venture partnership with MBA Polymers Inc. represents a major innovative step and is one of the world’s most advanced plastic recycling facilities with the capacity to recycle 80,000 tons of plastic every year.
The concentrated plastic rich stream is reduced to a uniform size and then enters a series of screeners, classifiers, washing lines, metal separators and other sorting systems which have been specially customized for this process. The patented system used produces high-purity plastics pellets, most notably, polypropylene, polyethylene, polystyrene and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS). The end product plastic grades are of such high-quality that they are used as a direct replacement for virgin material.
This revolutionary technology means we are leading the metal and plastic recycling industries and takes the recycling rates to around 90% of the material we receive.
Waste to energy
What happens to the remaining residue? Having recovered all that is suitable for recycling we have plans to turn the rest into electricity through a second joint venture named Innovative Environmental Solutions (IES) that will be operated with our partners at Chinook. The first IES plant is intended to start production at the end of 2012.
Using patented technology, we propose to put the waste through a non-incineration pyrolysis process that will turn it into energy. This would represent a significant development in “End Stage Recycling” and by diverting it from landfill and transforming the remaining waste residue into a highly efficient and sustainable fuel. It will also allow us to recycle the last remaining metals which were previously unrecoverable. At this point we will have achieved our goal of zero waste and will produce more energy than we actually consume, making us a truly sustainable business.