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Last month, Sims Metal Management announced that it was pulling the plug on its Canadian operations as well as a substantial portion of its operations in the U.K.. For those not aware, Sims is the largest metals and electronics recycler on the planet.

The announcement referred to a restructuring of operations. The Canadian division was deemed commercially unattractive and government legislation and market dynamics were cited as the core of the problems.

One of the top 100 most sustainable corporations in the world, Sims began their operations in Ontario in 2003. They added jobs and technology and in 2010, a 287,000 square foot facility in Mississauga with a receiving capacity in excess of 100,000 metric tonnes per year of electronics.
From our point of view, they were a great partner to have in our industry. They had good people, innovative solutions to offer and were committed to environmental protection, sustainability and the health of the communities they served.

Can’t say we didn’t see it coming once the Ontario Government got involved in 2009 with their OES program. Were there other factors involved in the decision by Sims? Sure. But at the end of the day, Sims started their operations under a free market system and were eventually just choked-off  by this program.

There will be consequences until the industry can re-inflate or the rules change. Of significance to us, one OES processor we spoke to this week said they can’t handle any more volume and others have told us they are swamped as well.

Since we have commented before on government intervention in the marketplace, we will leave it at that for now. For a more detailed look at this specific circumstance, however, we refer you to articles by Usman Valiante entitled The Race to The Bottom Part 1 and Part 2. Mr Valiante is a Senior Policy Analyst with Corporate Policy Group LLP. The articles can be found at:

blog.solidwastemag.com/the-race-to-the-bottom-part-1/
blog.solidwastemag.com/the-race-to-the-bottom-part-2-death-of-a-recycler/
How Does That Work!
Still on the topic of electronic recycling, we refer you to a very interesting show on CBC Radio One hosted by Molecular Biologist Dr.Torah Kachur. The show, What A Waste, airs on Monday and Friday evenings.

Recently, Dr. Kachur had a segment on e-waste in which she introduced very innovative green technologies under study for recovery of gold and other precious metals. She introduces Dr. Nathan Magarvey and his group at McMaster University in Hamilton who are working in the field of  bioleaching and have identified a bacterium that can be used to turn toxic water soluble gold into gold nuggets and Dr Andrew Hunt at the Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence at the University of York in the U.K. who is working on a phytomining process to extract precious metals using plants.
Bet you never considered microbes and plants as high tech innovations in the electronic recycling process.
www.cbc.ca/player/Radio/What+A+Waste/ID/2466981537/

Logo_FINAL2colour_optionDrive For The Oakville Hospital Foundation
A reminder that this week we will be donating a portion of the value of all non-ferrous items purchased at both our Oakville and Mississauga yards to the Oakville Hospital Foundation to fund new equipment for the hospital.

 

Our New Truck Scale
In order to effectively respond to customer demand in Oakville we have recenly installed a truck scale that will be ideal for customers with larger loads. We also have purchased a material handler to unload larger volumes quickly and efficiently. Our truck scale is fully operational at our Oakville warehouse, located at 1150 South Service Rd W.
(Between 3rd LIne and 4th Line) 905 825-1288.

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