Facility tour extends plastics industry commitment to raising awareness, increasing recycling

EDMONTON, Alberta, Sept. 22, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As part of its ongoing commitment to raise awareness and improve diversion rates, the Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA), in partnership with the Alberta Plastics Recycling Association (APRA) and the City of Edmonton, is organizing a tour of the Edmonton Waste Management Centre (EWMC) on Tuesday, September 29, 2015.

The EWMC is a state-of-the-art centre and one of the few fully integrated waste management and resource recovery sites in North America. Operations at the centre are expected to increase Edmonton's residential waste landfill diversion capacity from 60 percent to 90 percent once Enerkem's Waste to Biofuels and Chemicals facility and a new Anaerobic Digestion Facility are fully operational. This is a tremendous municipal success story.

"Industry and governments are now rightly focused on resource recovery," says Krista Friesen, CPIA's Vice President of Sustainability. "And there's no better place to see this new paradigm at work than in Edmonton where there are new and emerging technologies that allow us to convert non-recycled plastics and biomass into important alternative fuel sources. We have to look at these opportunities to proactively manage residual materials within the context of an integrated system because they're proof that we can find new uses for non-recycled plastics while on the road to a zero waste world."

The tour will provide an up-close look at a number of state-of-the-art facilities, including:

• The Integrated Process and Transfer Facility has three distinct operations: a waste transfer station; a pre-processing operation; and a refuse-derived fuel (RDF) plant. Waste is mechanically and manually sorted and transferred to an appropriate downstream facility: composting of the organic fractions; recycling of all remaining cardboard, metals and plastics; and creation of an RDF from the non-recyclable, non-compostable waste stream.
• The Advanced Energy Research Facility is focused on the development of innovative technologies capable of converting residual biomass and other waste feedstocks into a new generation of biofuels and green chemicals, thereby enabling researchers, technology developers, and companies to promote commercialization efforts in these areas.
• Enerkem Alberta Biofuels is the first commercial facility in the world to use municipal solid waste (MSW) to produce advanced biofuels and renewable chemicals. The facility utilizes Enerkem's proprietary technology to convert Edmonton's non-recyclable and non-compostable MSW into methanol and ethanol. Enerkem Alberta Biofuels, which was built in partnership with the City of Edmonton, Alberta Innovates – Energy and Environment Solutions, and Alberta Energy, can turn 100,000 dry tonnes of MSW into 38 million litres of methanol or ethanol each year.
In addition to the tour stops, the September 29th event will feature expert speakers who will present detailed information on a range of key issues, including:
• Bud Latta, Director, City of Edmonton Waste Management Services, will provide an overview of the numerous innovations taking place at the EWMC.
• Brian Mills, Plant Manager at Enerkem Alberta Biofuels, will explain how his facility is able to convert non-recyclable and non-compostable waste into clean fuels and renewable chemicals to help the City of Edmonton increase its diversion rate from 60 percent to 90 percent.

The CPIA endeavors to showcase initiatives such as the EWMC in order to raise awareness about leading-edge waste management technologies – from recycling to solid waste recovery – and show how they can co-exist in an environmentally and economically sustainable way.

"The fact is that plastics are too valuable to waste," concludes Friesen. "So partnerships with APRA and Edmonton are invaluable in order to demonstrate what can be done to reduce, reuse and recycle this important resource."

For more information about the tour, visit http://www.plastics.ca/home/events/edmonenergytour.php.

The Canadian Plastics Industry Association is the national voice of Canada's plastics industry, representing the interests of processors, material suppliers, equipment manufacturers and brand owners across the country.



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