The Environmental Benefits of Recycling
In Canada, more steel is recovered than aluminum, glass, and paper combined. AltaSteel is the largest user of recycled steel in Western Canada in conjunction with our partner Maple Leaf Metals and our various suppliers. Steel waste is recovered, sorted into scrap, and reused to produce prime product. By recovering and recycling steel waste, we conserve our natural resources and reduce our contribution to greenhouse gases, minimizing our environmental impact.
Annually, we use 300,000 tons of scrap which is 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 our short-term and long-term environmental impact. 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 our production are collected for recycling; everything from used oil, to waste fuel, spent light bulbs, and even batteries are segregated and managed.
Any wastes that are unable to be recovered or recycled are classified and sorted prior to leaving our site to support waste management facilities in responsible disposal practices.
We employ a dedicated environmental department that is committed to supporting our employees in meeting best practice objectives and in ensuring our compliance to regulatory requirements. AltaSteel is licensed with Alberta Environment and operates under strict government requirements. These requirements include air and waste water effluent thresholds to which we must comply. To further manage our impact on the environment and help us to continually improve, AltaSteel is also certified under ISO 14001 (link to certification)
Our environment is very important to us; both within our site and within our community, and we are committed to the monitoring and management of our air and water quality to reduce impact on the local region. To manage our impact, we maintain an extensive groundwater monitoring network, in combination with routine air and wastewater monitoring programs to ensure our compliance to legislation. In addition, our environment department manages a network of recycling programs to minimize off-site waste and reduce our contribution to landfills and our environmental footprint.
At AltaSteel we reduce the impact of metal waste on the environment without compromising on quality, making our steel the ethical choice.