A Sudbury, Ontario entrepreneur Mitch Ouimette has taken on a project to deal with Canada’s plastic and rubber waste.
Torreco Revives Ellsin Plant
Ouimette said that after discussions with cabinet ministers, government representatives and bureaucrats, he was able to get some assistance that will see a streamlined process and get the approvals he needs to operate a new and state-of-the art plant at the former Ellsin location in Sault Ste. Marie.
“At the end of the day I don’t want to be exempt from environmental legislation, but we need a pathway to get to where we need to be,” he said.
Ouimette is the CEO of Torreco, which recently bought the Ellsin project, said the process has begun for his company to get an exemption from the legislation that created the roadblocks for him to receive his certificate of approvals and launch a new tyre recycling facility.
With an injection of about $10 million, Ouimette is planning on fully updating the Ellsin facility and using advanced technology and equipment to recycle tyres and deal with the plastic issue.
More space will be added to the existing 10,000 square foot facility to ensure indoor storage of the shredded tyres and processing facilities.
“Historically tyres were used to produce (recovered) Carbon Black there, which is used in things like ink toner, pigments and the manufacturing of other tyres and in the auto industry,” he said.
His project will see an enhanced product produced called masterbatch plastic.
The enhanced process will take the recovered carbon black, pulverise it, decrease its size and mix it equally with post-consumer plastics, which will come from recycled sources.
“We’ll code it in plastic and make it cleaner and use it as a colourant in plastic. Anything that’s black plastic has this product in it,” Ouimette said.
For instance, phone cases, a television remotes or computer cases include black plastic.
“This is a product that is worth more than carbon black and it also creates secondary recycling,” he said.
His job is to secure six million pounds of plastic resin annually. Along with scrap tyres, the plant will have the main tools it needs to operate.
The process is clean and green, Ouimette says.
“Our process will generate the same CO2 emissions annually as two average households. That is as green as it gets,” he said.
Ouimette said Torreco Inc., will be a good neighbour. The addition that will be created on the plant will ensure indoor storage of tyres, which will be shredded upon arrival.
“We won’t be creating a tyre dump,” he said.
Once the Yates Avenue facility is operational, he plans to develop both North Bay and Thunder Bay locations with an estimated spend of about $65 million over the next three years.
“If this works out the way we hope that it will, I also see an expansion of the Sault facility to 50 metric tonnes and creating a research and development facility somewhere in the North,” he said.
Source: The Sault Star