Newsletter: Summer 2018
It is that time of year again when facilities in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland take advantage of warmer weather. For many companies, spring signals the start of turnaround season and the continuation of construction projects.
Maintenance Is a Must
Just like your vehicle and home, industrial facilities require regular maintenance to keep them operating safely and efficiently. Companies schedule turnarounds to decrease or stop production so that certain maintenance tasks can be completed. Depending on the facility, a turnaround can last as short as a few days, or up to a month or longer.
The work completed during a turnaround involves equipment inspections and, if necessary, repairs, replacements, and technology upgrades. Particularly on older facilities, new technology can improve an operation’s environmental performance and help increase productivity.
Impact of Industrial Activity
Construction and turnarounds generate additional local spending on goods and services. They also create employment, as extra manpower is required to complete these projects. This added manpower may result in a noticeable increase in traffic on local highways. Turnarounds may also generate additional noise or visible activity as maintenance work is completed.
Curious About What You See, Hear or Smell?
Many companies use the UPDATEline to keep the community informed about turnaround and construction activities. Call the UPDATEline at 1.866.653.9959 to access pre-recorded messages about industry activity 24 hours a day.
Notable Turnarounds and Construction
Construction activities at North West Redwater Partnership’s Sturgeon Refinery site are expected to be complete this spring with commissioning and start-up activities running throughout the summer. Companies with planned turnarounds this year include:
Global Demand to Change Recycling As We Know It
New Regulations in China Force North American Municipalities to Search for Domestic Solutions
Since the 1980s, kids have learned about the “Three R’s” – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. We collect all our empty single use plastics for our blue bags and place them on the curb on our collection days. But have you ever wondered where the recyclables go – or who even wants them? The answer to both questions is …China.
For over 25 years, China has been the largest purchaser of plastic products in the world. In fact, China has imported 45% of the world’s plastic since 1992, and 90% of plastic waste sent to China was in the form of single-use.
In 2013, the Government of China launched Operation Green Fence to enforce quality standards around imported materials. This led to the National Sword Campaign which brought more restrictions and even bans on specific metals and plastics. China’s new regulations for recycling imported waste have forced municipal recycling programs across North America to search for new ways to deal with plastic waste domestically.
Canadian plastic recycling companies have come together to lead global change on how plastics are valued, used, recovered, reused and recycled. The changes to regulation in China could result in increased domestic manufacturing for recyclables here in Canada.
What Does This Mean for You?
You’ll be sorting your waste much more. All municipalities are taking a different approach, but most have developed strong educational programs that teach residents how to divide waste into recycle, organic and garbage. The end result is the same: building strong relationships with processing facilities by offering contamination free products. For waste regulations where you live, visit your local municipality’s website.
Year-to-Date Results Show Local Air Quality Has Been Good Most of the Time
Fort Air Partnership (FAP), the organization that monitors the air local residents breathe, has released Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) results for the first six months of 2018. Seven of FAP’s air monitoring stations collects data that is used by the Government of Alberta in the calculation each hour of the AQHI. There is increased health risk as the index number rises.
From January 1 to June 30, the index at those stations registered low risk readings the majority of the time. Bruderheim, followed closely by Lamont County, had the highest percentage of low risk readings and Fort Saskatchewan had the least. However all stations were in the low risk category more than 79% of the time.
In 2017 during the same period, stations were in the low risk category more than 93% of the time. The difference can largely be attributed to wintertime inversions in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region during the first quarter of 2018, particularly during March. A wintertime inversion is a weather condition where cold air along with pollutants is trapped near the ground by a layer of warm air.
Of the 26,677 hours monitored at the seven FAP stations in the first six months of 2018, only 28 hours reached the AQHI high risk category. Almost all were caused by wintertime inversions. The Q2 and January-June, 2018 AQHI and exceedances results are posted on FAP’s website or available by calling 1-800-718-0471.
Turning Waste into Worth
Half a Million Dollars of Recycling Revenue Later, NWR Creates Challenge for Local Communities
95% is a lot. If it’s a measure of fullness, you can’t get much more in. If it’s a grade on an exam, it’s worthy of celebration. If it’s a statistic in sports, you’re probably in the Hall of Fame.
For a diesel refinery that recently finished construction, it’s the kind of score you hope to achieve on your waste recycling efforts. The NWR Sturgeon Refinery did just that – 95.04% to be exact.
One Pound of Scrap at a Time
Since shovels broke ground at the refinery site in Sturgeon County near Redwater, rows of giant bins were in place to collect wood, drywall, aluminum, steel, organics, concrete, bottles and more. Thanks to a dedicated focus on recycling as much waste as possible, over 95% was diverted from landfills.
The best part? Waste like aluminum, steel and beverage containers provided the added benefit of generating revenue. All that revenue added together over time created a community investment fund that would make any local non-profit organization giddy with ideas and potential. Since 2015, we’ve contributed half a million dollars to local projects, schools, events and charities. And it all began with a decision from construction kickoff to turn waste into worth.
How Do YOU Turn Waste into Worth?
We are celebrating the amazing milestone of half a million dollars of community investment from recycling during construction. Now it’s your turn to turn waste into worth! How will your group, team, school, or non-profit take waste in our communities and turn it into something valuable? We have $10,000 in funding available to reward the most creative plans. Stay tuned for details available this fall at www.nwrsturgeonrefinery.com or by emailing email@example.com.