Terrapure's new plastics recycling facility helps close the loop for battery manufacturers
Terrapure Environmental has celebrated the grand opening of a new plastics recycling facility at its Ville de Sainte-Catherine battery recycling plant.
This facility – which Terrapure says is the largest of its kind in Canada – allows the company to further its contribution to the circularity of the economy in Quebec and Canada by recycling plastic battery casings for reuse in the creation of new products.
"The opening of this facility is a significant milestone for our company, one that demonstrates not only our commitment to protecting the environment but also to growing our operations in Quebec," said Ryan Reid, president and CEO of Terrapure. "By adding plastic recycling to our well-established lead battery recycling capabilities, we are able to further close the recycling loop for our battery manufacturing customers."
The recycling process, which includes washing and shredding the polypropylene chips from used battery casings, followed by extrusion of the chips to create plastic pellets approximately three millimetres in diameter, is completed entirely at Terrapure's Ville de Sainte-Catherine location. Terrapure invested close to $30 million to develop the new facility, which currently operates 5 days per week, 16 hours per day, and employs around 15 full-time employees.
The pellets are shipped throughout North America by truck or rail to produce new products, including new battery casings. Terrapure can produce approximately 10,000 tonnes of recycled polypropylene pellets annually. Given that lead batteries typically contain four to five percent plastic by weight, this additional recycling opportunity further strengthens the circular economy for batteries.
Terrapure provides a vital service that not only recovers value from what would otherwise be a hazardous waste that would be disposed of but also helps conserve natural resources and protect the environment. Lead batteries, which are essential to the green energy transition, are the most recycled consumer and industrial product in North America – about 99 percent of batteries are recovered and recycled, far more than any other product – and the components can be reused infinitely.
Additionally, recycling plastic battery casings for reuse generates between 57 and 66 percent fewer greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at Terrapure's facilities than the process of producing plastic from conventional manufacturing, according to recent GHG assessments.
Terrapure recovers over 90 percent of the constituent components in batteries. Each year at its Ville de Ste-Catherine facility and another facility in Mississauga, Ont., the company recycles 12 million spent batteries and has the ability to recover up to 134,000 tonnes of lead and 15,000 tonnes of polypropylene pellets to be reused in the manufacturing of new batteries. The company employs 40+ highly skilled employees between its two plants, including 220+ in Quebec.