The Recycling Challenge
Putting More Materials in Ontario’s Blue Boxes
Ontario, the birthplace of the Blue Box, is perhaps one of the world’s most mature constituencies for stewardship and recycling behaviours. The Blue Box Program currently diverts from landfill close to 70 per cent of the six categories of printed paper and packaging materials that its industry stewards sell into the marketplace. Innovation is essential to stay ahead of the curve. The more materials Ontario households can put out for curbside collection, the more waste we divert from landfill. To do this efficiently, affordably and sustainably, we must encourage local processors to develop green technologies that will increase the volume of materials we can recycle, and the value of Ontario’s green economy.
The Environmental Chemistry
The Potential to Process Clear and Expanded Polystyrene
Kingston’s GreenCentre Canada brings together academic researchers and industry partners to develop and market clean, less energy-intensive alternatives to traditional chemical products and manufacturing processes. They needed help to prove that a green solvent solution they’d developed was viable, and Stewardship Ontario gave them a grant for lab testing and investigation.
The tests revealed that the green chemists’ Switchable Hydrophilicity Solvent (SHS) system had the potential to process clear and expanded polystyrene—especially those soiled food trays that can be covered in contaminants. Plus, after the cleaning or extraction process, SHS can be returned to its pure form without energy-hungry, expensive distillation, and can be harvested for reuse. When GreenCentre was looking for help commercializing the technology, we recognized the potential to revolutionize recycling capabilities in North America.
Switchable Solutions One of Most Promising Cleantech Start-ups
In 2012, Switchable Solutions was named by Corporate Knights Inc. as one of Canada’s next ten most promising clean technology start-ups. Said CEO, Mark Badger, “We are thrilled to have Switchable Solutions and our proprietary technology recognized by Corporate Knights and their Advisory Board.” The company’s intention is to leverage the green technology for industrial uses and is looking for the right partner to work with to further advance the development of polystyrene recycling systems.
As a founding partner of Switchable Solutions, Stewardship Ontario is joined by leading greentech players and company management, who will help bring this breakthrough green technology to market.
The Polystyrene Partners
Stewardship Ontario’s Blue Box Program—Stewardship Ontario is a not-for-profit organization funded and governed by the industries that make and market the products and packaging materials recycled through the programs it manages–the Blue Box and Orange Drop.
Switchable Solutions Inc.—A clean technology company focused on enhancing the profitability of its customers and making a positive impact on the environment. The Company’s proprietary green solvent-based platform technology delivers more efficient, effective and environmentally friendly industrial processing.
GreenCentre Canada—A national Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research, brings together academic researchers and industry partners in a common goal of developing clean, less energy-intensive alternatives to traditional chemical products and manufacturing processes.
Fielding Chemical Technologies Inc.—An award-winning CleanTech company, providing Cradle to Cradle™ Care of Chemicals—the responsible and economical choice for the safe recycling of chemical waste and the purchase of high quality recycled chemicals.
NexCycle Plastics —A full-service recycled plastics compounder and distributor of polymers. It services a network of manufacturers across Canada and in the northeastern and midwestern United States.
We are always interested in hearing about new ideas to imporive recycling. Contact us to talk about your green innovations and forward-thinking recycling technologies.