I attended the annual forum of the Manitoba Association of Regional Recyclers in Winnipeg October 19. There were two tours on Wednesday afternoon before the forum.
The first tour took us to Mother Earth Recycling which recycles mattresses and electronics. Some of the electronics are refurbished and sold in their store. It is a relatively new organization. They hope to also be able to recycle furniture in the future.
Old mattresses and furniture take up a lot of space in landfills.
PureSephera Recovery and Recycling was our next stop. This business recycles appliances that cool things like fridges, freezers and air conditioners in a way that is completely environmentally responsible.
Several things were news to me. Refrigerant is not the only substance of concern for these items when they are thrown out. There are PCB’s and mercury in the working parts that should not be released into the environment.
At PureSephera, they remove the refrigerant, oil, mercury and PCB’s and dispose of them in an environmentally friendly way.
The foam insulation found in older fridges is also a problem. The CFC’s used to make the bubbles in the foam remains trapped in it. They are released into the environment when items are shredded for salvage.
CFC’s break down the molecules in the ozone layer that protects us from harmful UV radiation from the sun. They are not destroyed in the process so continue to bounce around destroying ozone for a very long time.
Foam from the appliances at PureSephera is shipped to Montreal where it is compressed in a chamber that collects the CFC gas.
We are working to find a better way to dispose of refrigeration appliances from our community.