In the last several years, we have been able to capture more waste items, such as organics, plastics and wood and divert the materials from landfill. In 2015 we increased our waste materials diverted from landfill by 50% from 320 metric tonnes in 2014 to 494 metric tonnes. In addition we are working to reduce the amount of waste being generated in-house by either reusing it in our processes or by reducing the amount and volume of materials that is used to package the supplies we purchase for our own use.
A significant portion of our waste is as a result of the filtering of recycled material we purchase for the production of rough moulded packaging (the ubiquitous egg cartons and 4 cup carriers). While recycling of paper and paper products is increasing, so too is the unusable portion often found in the recycling stream—think of bits of metal and plastic that are increasingly co-mingled with newspapers and paper. Our recycled content suppliers are coping with a change of policy at municipal levels across the country, which are implementing a single stream collection system as opposed to a dual stream system. Due to costs, many municipalities no longer require constituents to separate recycling at source, resulting in one recycling stream of paper, glass, metal and plastic and a significant increase of comingled materials.
We have invested in screening technologies to help filter out the garbage component, but as it is a mixture of materials, it is impossible to recycle at this time and must be sent to landfill. In 2016, we plan to install a de-watering system in our Langley pulp plant to remove more water before we send waste to landfill, thereby significantly reducing tonnage and impact on landfill sites.