Make Earth Day and every day a recycling day
Fredericton- How do we keep New Brunswick’s environment clean and green for our children and grandchildren?
Recycle NB’s CEO Pat McCarthy says, “We must reduce, reuse and recycle. Recycling reduces the pressure on landfills, safeguards our valuable resources, saves the taxpayer money, and creates jobs in our communities. If everyone makes recycling part of their daily routine, we will leave a clean safe environment for the generations to come.”
Recycle NB is the provincial not-for-profit agency that oversees designated materials programs and is responsible for the tire, paint, electronics, oil and glycol recycling programs in New Brunswick.
The paint, electronics, and oil recycling programs are Extended Producer Responsibility programs. That means the product brand owners are responsible for the end-of life waste management of their products. Each industry develops a plan for recycling its products and presents it to Recycle NB for approval. Once it is approved the industry, through an agent sets up, operates and finances the recycling program under Recycle NB’s oversight.
McCarthy has high praise for TRACC (Tire Recycling Atlantic Canada Corporation), operator of New Brunswick’s tire program, Product Care, the organization that manages the paint program, UOMA (Used Oil Management Association Atlantic), the operator of the oil and glycol program and EPRA (Electronic Products Recycling Association), the electronics recycling association. “They are fantastic partners and they are making a great contribution to protecting our environment.”
However, he said, it is New Brunswickers who really make the programs successful. “I am always so encouraged by the public’s support of our programs. Everyone who recycles deserves a pat on the back. Their efforts really do make a difference.” When asked how much of a difference, McCarthy is quick to provide the facts.
New Brunswickers recycle a million tires a year. Instead of filling up the provinces landfills, the waste tires are turned into value added products by TRACC, a Minto manufacturing plant. The tire program began in 1996 so approximately 20 million tires have been kept out of landfills. “Not only are they not in the landfill but also they are recycled into new rubber products. In fact, New Brunswick is the only jurisdiction in which 98% of the waste tires collected are turned into value added products. We don’t bury them and we don’t burn them!” TRACC has markets for its products around the world. Livestock mats, garden mulch, playground cover, fatigues mats and matting are just a few examples of the quality products it produces from old tires. The company contributes to the economy of Minto and creates 60 green jobs in New Brunswick.
There are more than 60 paint collection depots in the province. During 2016, the program recycled about 230,000 litres of paint that was recycled into new paint products. Boomerang paint and ECO Rona include the paint products recycled by New Brunswickers. Once the paint is collected, it is shipped to Springhill, Nova Scotia where it is mixed with like colours and then shipped to Laurentide in Quebec where it is manufactured into those new paint products. The paint is free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and carries the ECO-Logo certification.
In addition to the paint, the program collected and recycled 90 tonnes of paint containers. “That’s a lot of containers!” said McCarthy. “Paint recycling provides outstanding value and environmental benefits.”
Oil and Glycol Recycling
Did you know that just one litre of oil could pollute one million litres of water?
To help protect the environment, government designated used oil, oil containers, oil filters, glycol and glycol containers as products for Recycle NB to manage.
UOMA introduced its oil and glycol recycling program on January 1, 2014. “We now have 177 locations across the province where people can take their used oil and glycol products for recycling,” noted McCarthy.
From Harbour Authorities to individuals, New Brunswickers are recycling their used oil and glycol products. In 2016, the program collected 3.6 million litres of oil, 120,860 litres of glycol, 296,820 kilograms of filters and over 250,000 kilograms of containers.
When the oil and glycol program began, a new company RPM opened in Moncton to process the oil and glycol containers. It built a new building and hired staff from the Moncton area. RPM ships the containers to Quebec where they are turned into plastic pellets used in the manufacture of large drainage tiles.
The newest Extended Producer Responsibility Program (EPR) is for electronic waste. It began in March, 2017 and already it has collected 800 tonnes of old computers, televisions, cell phones and other electronic devices. There are 60 recycling locations across the province where residents drop off their unwanted electronics for recycling. Once collected, the devices are taken apart. Valuable materials like copper, gold and plastics are recycled and reused and hazardous materials are safely disposed.
Looking to the future
McCarthy says he is looking forward to building on the success of the paint, electronics, and oil recycling programs and encourages residents to visit the Recycle NB Website, www.recyclenb.com to learn where to recycle designated products.
Information on Recycle NB and its programs is available online at www.recyclenb.com
MEDIA CONTACT: Pat McCarthy, CEO, Recycle NB, 506-454-8473.