A major recycling initiative is taking Zellstoff Celgar by storm.
Although the pulp mill has recycled cardboard, wood and metal for some years, a recent implementation means almost all material has the option to be recycled.
Different coloured bins from Waste Management are scattered throughout the mill, including green for cardboard, orange for scrap metal, yellow for stainless steel, fawn for scrap wood and red for asbestos.
The blue bins, known as “co-mingle bins” are able to take mixed paper, tin, glass and plastic, according to Fiona Mackay, environmental superintendent for Celgar.
The blue bins are a new offering, added Glen Phillips, recycling co-ordinator.
“They had them elsewhere but they didn’t have them in the Kootenays,” he said.
When added up, Celgar’s recycling now equals 3,200 kilograms a month, and the company is hoping to increase the amount each year by 10 per cent.
Aside from the bins, other items that can be recycled throughout the mill are acid batteries, regular batteries, electronics, light bulbs, waste oil, chemicals and liquids, contaminated oil, paint and aerosol cans, solvents and oily rags.
Twice a year, Celgar brings in a big bin for electronics recycling as well. Mackay said the bin usually sees a lot of televisions and computers.
Since this initiative began three years ago, they have collected more than 3.5 tonnes of electronics for recycling.
Celgar’s recycling committee has also passed around instructions on constructing a compost bin from pallets on site.
Mackay said the program went over really well with employees when it was launched last week.
“It was a very positive day,” she said. “A lot of this is employee-driven.”
By having bins all over the site, Phillips said it not only makes recycling more convenient for employees, but it makes them more aware that it’s a more feasible option now.
“I think the co-mingle is pretty unique,” Mackay said.
In terms of industrial waste, Mackay said Celgar fares better than other mills in the province, and expects to be in the top for recycling too.
“We can accommodate a lot of different materials,” she said.
Used gloves are even cleaned and sent to developing countries instead of thrown out.
Mackay said most of the recycling initiatives, such as battery recycling, was brought up by an employee.
“I think it starts with, ‘can we do something with this?’”