Benefits of Recycling
AltaSteel is the largest user of recycled steel in Western Canada in conjunction with our partner Maple Leaf Metals and our various suppliers. Scrap waste is recovered, sorted, and reused — using industrial furnaces powered by natural gas or electricity — to produce our high-quality steel products. By recovering and recycling steel waste, we conserve our natural resources and reduce our contribution to greenhouse gases, minimizing our environmental impact.
Annually, we divert over 300,000 tons of scrap from landfills — equivalent to over 200,000 cars or nearly 3 million refrigerators!
Our Commitment to the Environment
Our commitment to environmental awareness and sustainability encompasses specific programs aimed at minimizing short-term and long-term environmental impacts. These programs include:
- Recycling programs
- Waste Minimization programs
- Water reduction programs
- Fugitive Dust control programs
- Mercury bulb transition programs
Within our operation, we have several programs in place to conserve and recycle process wastes and materials, including metal waste, water, slag, and spent refractory materials. Externally, we recycle several byproducts and materials that would otherwise be considered waste:
- Scale that forms naturally during the steel cooling process is collected, analyzed, and shipped to cement plants as an additive in the production of cement products such as clinker.
- Electric arc furnace slag is crushed, screened, and used in several civil engineering applications, including road building and rail construction.
- Other materials essential to the production are collected for recycling; everything from used oil, waste fuel, spent light bulbs, and even batteries are segregated and managed.
We work hard to reduce the amount of waste that enters landfills. Any material we cannot recycle or reuse is sent for safe disposal at other facilities.
AltaSteel has been ISO 14001 certified since 2008 and is licensed with Alberta Environment. We operate under strict government requirements, which include air and wastewater effluent thresholds that we must comply with.
AltaSteel also conducts acute lethality tests using rainbow trout multiple times a year on our effluent water (excess process and surface runoff water released from the site). For the past 10 years, we have had 100% survival of all fish tested in the effluent water from our site.
We have progressively installed new pollution control equipment on our emission point sources (stacks).
- Low-NOx burners on Heat Treat furnace in 2002.
- Ultra-low NOx burners on reheat furnace in 2009.
- Ultra-low NOx burners on Annealing furnace in 2013.
- Baghouse upgraded to high-efficiency filter bags between 2013-2015.
In 2022, AltaSteel voluntarily enrolled in the Alberta Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction System (TIER). TIER helps industrial facilities find innovative ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and invest in clean technology to stay competitive.
We are also members of the Strathcona Industrial Association (SIA) since 1983. The SIA operates a continuous ambient air quality monitoring network in the industrial area where AltaSteel operates. Live data can be viewed through their website.
Environmental preservation is vital both within our site and within our community. We are committed to monitoring and managing the air and water quality to reduce the impact on the local region. We maintain an extensive groundwater monitoring network, along with routine air and wastewater monitoring programs to ensure our compliance with legislation. In addition, our environment department oversees a network of recycling programs to minimize off-site waste and reduce our contribution to landfills and our environmental footprint.
We also submit annual emissions reports to various regulatory bodies. Click the links below to learn more.
- National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) - Year: 2021
- Federal Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program (GHGRP) - Year: 2020
- Provincial Annual Emissions Inventory Reporting Program (AEIR) - Year: 2018
At AltaSteel, we reduce the impact of metal waste on the environment—without sacrificing quality.