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Division hears how problems can become solutions.

Delegates to the 46th annual technical program of the Rubber Chemistry Division, CSC, received some sound and timely advice on the way all industry, not just rubber, will need to do business in the near future. The meeting's theme, Packing Trends and Waste Disposal Costs, was addressed by six speakers. In his talk, The High Cost of Waste Disposal. Gerry King, Standard Products Canada, warned delegates that they will have to face many pieces of legislation from all levels of government, touching any subject that could affect the environment - air and water emissions, hazardous wattse, chemical spill and chemical importation are but a few.

In dealing with hazardous waste, King noted that there are "few players in the game". The NIMBY (not in My Back Yard) factor is difficult, if not impossible, to overcome. It has become very frustrating and King advanced another acronym - BANANA (Build Ablsolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone).

However, hazardous waste is not the whole problem. King said that Standard Products had spent over $1 million on disposal in 1991, up 30.1% from 1990. Hazardous waste disposal cost $505,000, up 7%. Non-hazardous waste disposal cost $486,000, an exorbitant 81% increase over 1990. This reflects the cost increase in using landfill. KIng said that Ontario will not allow cardboard, wood, drywall, bricks and newsprint to go into landfill. In 1992, the province hopes reduce the flow to landfill by 25%, and increase that to 50% by 2000.

Breaking the law means hefty fines, even jail terms. King strongly recommended that companies begin waste minimization programs. Also, the waste exchange companies can be a valuable resource. Someone may be looking to use what you're trying to throw away. King advised that industry take advantage of a marketplace that appreciates an environmentally-conscious company/industry.

Alasdair Stock, Polysar Rubber Corp., spoke about Packaging in the Synthetic Rubber Business. He noted that 6 to 8% of the weight of rubber products is usually taken up by packaging, that 1,000 tonnes of rubber needs 145,000 pounds of packaging. Polysar has switched to a repulpable release coating, eliminated excess packaging and uses metal containers with collapsible walls for shipping. Polysar has been able to reduce the amount of corrugated material it needs to dispose by 635,000 pounds and has eliminated 10 million pounds f wood from its site.

Lee Jarrett, Elastochem Inc., discussed Changing Packaging Methods for Dry Chemicals in the Rubber Industry. Jarret declared that 12 million board feet of lumber, in the form of pallets, end up in landfill annually in Canada. Metal containers are the best bet. Jumbo poly bags have gained favor recently, but there are some drawbacks. Manufacturers generally guarantee them for one trip only although multiple trips are possible; they can be punctured; they cannot be stacked.

To help cut back on packaging waste, Jarret suggested contacting suppliers and specifying the amount of material needed, even if it is in small amounts, e.g., five to seven pounds.

Elastochem has shifted the emphasis on waste disposal from its suppliers to itself and is working with the suppliers so they can meet Elastochem's needs. It is eliminating all fibre drums and corrugated material for incoming material. It also hopes to eliminate paper bags by 1993. Recently, it has conducted trials with a 16-gal plastic nestable barrel.

The keynote address was given by Rudolph Casper, Polysar Rubber Corp., The Synthetic Rubber Industry: Where Does It Stand? Where Will It Go? The North American synthetic rubber industry is beginning to climb back from one of the deepest valleys it's ever been in, Casper said, but he cautioned that the recovery will be "anemic". The six major synthetic rubber producers have oversupply (supply over demand) ranging from 25 to 58%.

For the 1990s, Casper foresees: * a modest increase in concentration; * more globalization - competitors and customers; * better service and quality; * skyrocketing environmental costs; * minimal new/expanded facilities; * few new products, but many modified ones; * selective/targetted R&D spending, based on government legislation and return on investment criteria.

In the area of process development technology, Casper said that there is a need for higher quality and manufacturing efficiencies. In product development technology, Casper is looking for incremental improvements.

One of the afternoon speakers, Ben Birkmeier, Cabot Corp., admitted he was in a bit of a quandry as most of the other speakers had stolen his thunder. In his presentation, Carbon Black Packaging Alternatives to Reduce Solid Waste Disposal Costs, he said he had no knowledge as yet of a large-scale recycling program for chemically-contaminated bags. Plastic bags can be used as batch inclusion bags.

Finally, Sandor Koso, Ontario Ministry of the Environment (OME), Waste Management Branch, spoke on the Ontario Government Grant Program for Industrial Waste Diversion. The program was established in June 1987 to provide financial assistance to the industrial, commercial and institutional sectors to divert their waste from disposal.

What's eligible?

* New facilities to reduce, reuse or recycle industrial and commercial wastes;

* Modification of existing processes, equipment or operations to divert significant quantities of waste from disposal;

* Demonstration of technology and research programs aimed at implementing new waste diversion programs including equipment or process evaluations.

Eligible costs include capital; installation and commissioning; applied research, demonstration and evaluation; application of new and unproved waste diversion programs.

Non-profit organizations are eligible to receive 100% of the program costs; others up to 50%. Waste streams include wood, paper, plastics, metal finishers, foundary sand, solvents, and toxics which have received a strong emphasis lately. Tires were part of the program but responsibility for them has been moved to the Waste Reduction Office. Koso called them a "special case".

Since the program's inception, 943 projects proposals have been received of which 445 have been approved and 120 completed. The value of the projects is $178.364 million, with the OME contributing $62.624 million. Since the start, the projects have involved 1.5 million tonnes per year of solid waste, 82 tonnes per year of hazardous waste, and 21.5 million litres per year of liquid waste.

As noted, Koso said tires were a special case and the OME realized it had to do more with them than was done previously. A task force has been assembled. Three rubberized asphalt projects have been completed with a fair degree of success. Rubber content in this asphalt is 2%.

In his talk, Lee Jarrett congratulated the organizers for holding such seminar on a pertinent subject. His words should be echoed. Attendance was good and those in attendance received many excellent suggestions they could take back to work.

The annual business meeting of the Division was also held the same day. The 1992-93 executive of the Rubber Chemistry Division is: chair Joe Farella, MCIC, past chair Kean Hames, MCIC, vice-chair Lionel Cho-Young, MCIC, secretary Barry Siegner, ACIC, treasurer Gilbert Dugal, director Mel Crawley, ACIC, director Phil Brus, director Marvin Myhre, MCIC.
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Title Annotation:46th annual technical program of Rubber Chemistry Division, CSC on waste disposal and packing
Publication:Canadian Chemical News
Date:Jul 1, 1992
Previous Article:Off to school....
Next Article:Surviving and growing in the 1990s.

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