Business Innovation - Trail Delivers E-Scrap Solution
Using existing furnace capacity at its metallurgical complex in Trail, B.C., Teck Cominco is building a new business that will divert thousands of tonnes of discarded electronic equipment, or "e-scrap", from landfills in western Canada and the United States.
In November 2004, a 14-day, 225-tonne trial was conducted and the recycling model was evaluated. In the end, 100 percent of the e-scrap was successfully processed with no measurable increase in the facility’s emissions. In June 2005, the B.C. Ministry of Environment (MoE) authorized a one-year permit for the Trail furnace to process bulk e-scrap in an environmentally safe manner. The facility has an established stack, effluent and ambient air quality monitoring program.
The e-scrap marketplace is evolving and expanding. According to Environment Canada, in 2005 more than 156,000 tonnes of electronic scrap accumulated in Canada and 2.2 million tonnes in the United States. Teck Cominco’s response is to market its new service and work with partners in and around Trail to deliver efficient e-scrap recycling.
The City of Vancouver recently began investigation into the opportunities to create a zero waste environment. "After several months researching electronic waste, the City of Vancouver shipped 50 pallets of obsolete electronic waste from the City-wide corporate services computer upgrade program to Teck Cominco for a trial process. An encouraging component of Teck Cominco’s process is that not one ounce of this waste will enter the landfill" reports Victoria Wakefield, Sustainable and Ethical Purchasing, City of Vancouver.
The Company has committed substantial resources to being part of the e-scrap solution. It looks forward to the day when residents of British Columbia, Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest can drop off their old computers, printers, telephones and televisions knowing they will be processed in an environmentally responsible way.
For information on electronics recycling at Teck Cominco, please visit www.tcer.ca.