In October, Veolia announced the expansion of its electronics and lamp recycling capabilities in Canada with the opening of a new, 5,000 square foot, state-of-the-art recycling facility located in Pickering, Ontario (Greater Toronto Area). While the plant's primary purpose is to provide lamp-recycling services for customers across Ontario and other Canadian provinces, other electronics and mercury-bearing wastes can also be handled for customers out of this facility as appropriate. Veolia currently also provides industrial cleaning and hazardous materials management services from this location.
As industry, commercial business, communities and residents of Ontario prepare to comply with provincial regulations banning lamps from landfill disposal by 2020, Veolia says their new lamp recycling facility provides a more sustainable, circular economy solution to responsibly manage these wastes within Canada.
"Our investment in this facility represents our commitment to finding better solutions for lighting and electronic waste as well as ways to minimize the impact of waste on our environment," said Veolia North America president and CEO William J. "Bill" DiCroce. "As technology improves, we're able to break down and reclaim even more materials, especially hazardous materials, and prevent them from entering the waste stream."
Veolia has already been supporting the lamp recycling needs of Ontario as an approved processor for the Recycling Council of Ontario's Take Back the Light program. "Our Port Washington, Wis., facility earned approved processor status in 2013," stated Bob Cappadona, president and COO of Veolia North America Environmental Solutions and Services and Industrial Canada. "For the past four years, spent lamps gathered in Ontario have been transported to our recycling facility in Port Washington for disassembly, mercury recycling and glass and metal recovery."
With the new Pickering facility, spent lamps will be processed in Ontario. Veolia has invested in state-of-the-art equipment to crush and separate expired mercury-bearing lamps like compact fluorescents into three components: metal, glass, and phosphor powder. Ninety-nine percent of the glass and metal wastes will be recycled locally by Veolia. The mercury-bearing phosphor powder will be transported to Veolia's Port Washington facility for retorting and recycling.
The positive environmental impact of processing the lamps inside Canada is significant. By minimizing the transport of lamps into the United States, Veolia expects to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions from diesel fuel usage by 796 metric tons per year.