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New, state-of-the-art recycling facility opens in Ottawa

Tomlinson Facility 
Tomlinson Waste Recovery Centre, a new stateof-the-art facility just outside Ottawa, promises to be an environmental resource for both the local construction industry and homeowners.
Tomlinson Ribbon
Tomlinson Waste Recovery Centre’s ribbon cutting ceremony. From left to right: Marianne Wilkinson (Councillor, Kanata North), Allan Hubley (Councillor, Kanata South), Eli El-Chantiry (Councillor, West Carleton-March), Mayor Jim Watson, Ron Tomlinson (CEO, Tomlinson), Young Girl (daughter of Councillor Moffatt), Scott Moffatt (Councillor, Rideau-Goulbourn),Kevin Cinq-Mars (President, Tomlinson).

“We’re making it easy for everybody to do the right thing” is one of the mottos at Tomlinson, a leader in environmental services and transportation infrastructure. And as Lee Timmins, P.Eng., manager of technology, Landfills and Regulatory Affairs at Tomlinson Environmental Services Limited, adds, “Everybody wants to look after the environment, but sometimes it’s a little hard to do.”

To make helping the environment (and doing the right thing) a little easier, Tomlinson recently opened the Tomlinson Waste Recovery Centre, a new state-of-the-art facility located at 106 Westhunt Road in Carp, just outside Ottawa. The centre promises to be an environmental resource for both the local construction industry and homeowners.

According to Timmins, there are an estimated 250,000-300,000 tonnes of construction and demolition (C&D) material a year in Ottawa, which could potentially end up in a landfill.

“Massive investment was made into this C&D recycling plant in order to prevent C&D material from going to landfill,” he says. 

The Centre opened in May and is now in full production. It will be able to process more than 50 tonnes of C&D material an hour, and its teams is working towards the goal of preventing 200,000 tonnes of such waste from going to landfill each year.

Timmins gives the example of an individual homeowner completing a renovation on their basement. Through Tomlinson’s new facility, much of the material stemming from a project – including wood, metals steel, cardboard, drywall, plastics, even soils and rock – is able to be retained, reused, and repurposed.

“We don’t feel that this material needs to go to landfill and we’ve proved in the past that there are markets for this material,” Timmins says. “Anything that we can do to divert material from a landfill is good for everyone. It’s good for the environment, and it’s good for our communities.”

Timmins adds the company is very family-oriented, with employees living in the communities they work in, noting, “We live and breathe in these communities and we want to protect them.”

The new waste recovery centre works well with many of Tomlinson’s core values of innovation, excellence, and environmental conscience. It also coincides with the Ministry of the Environment’s current drive to do more with waste.

“Construction and demolition material is an obvious first step for the province to take on and keep that material out of the landfill,” Timmins says. “We’re very happy that the Ministry is opening up new avenues and markets.”

The site is well-known and used by the large general contractors in the area who want to be LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) or BOMA BESt (Building Owners and Managers Association of Canada Building Environmental Standards) certified. For Tomlinson, the waste recovery centre provides a convenient, easy facility for use by general contractors and homeowners which is, in some cases, cheaper than using a landfill.

The permit process to begin construction on the new facility began three years ago, with preparation for construction beginning on the site, located just off Highway 417 in the Carp Road business corridor, last summer. With a year of preparation and design work behind them, Tomlinson began construction on the centre in the fall of 2015.  Efforts received a boost with a warm winter, which allowed construction to continue longer than normal.

Tomlinson is proud to announce the facility was built with, “North American equipment and predominantly Canadian equipment.”

Now with the new site, residents and business owners can bring their waste to the site and Tomlinson will do the rest for them, from employing screeners and air separation, down to a manually sort with individuals pulling materials off the line.

“We’ve basically have got everything in one place,” Timmins says, explaining that in addition to the new construction and demolition recycling centre, there is also a traditional blue and black box materials recovery facility and a waste transfer station. “We’re just trying to make it as easy as possible for our customers; they can come to one site and look after (all their material).”

According to its website, Tomlinson is “the original West Ottawa recycling processor and helped introduce recycling to the area,” offering the same dual-stream sorting system as residential curbside service. With the new waste recovery centre, Tomlinson is able to leverage the materials recovery facility to further refine the cardboard, paper, and plastic. There is even an e-waste depot at the materials recovery facility.

For material which cannot be recycled through their other on-site facilities, Tomlinson operates a waste transfer station for the general public and commercial customers alike, to transport residual waste to a licensed landfill.

While Timmins admits the new facility won’t be able to prevent every single piece of material from going to a landfill, it aims to “keep pushing the limits of what we can recover” by looking for more markets and more ways to reuse the material.

Along those sames lines, much of the material recovered from the facility is used by the agricultural community.

“It’s a huge market for us,” Timmins say, noting one of the most popular uses for the recovered material is livestock bedding, especially for cattle. Stone, brick, granite, and other materials are also often crushed to be used as a base for roads or other construction projects.

“We allow you to do the right thing, because you don’t want to just bury your problems in a landfill,” he adds.

For more information, visit www.wasterecoverycentre.com