Benefits of Zero Waste

Providing a ‘Whole System Approach’ to Recycling and Waste Management

Zero Waste is a philosophy and a design principle for the 21st Century. It includes ‘recycling’ but goes beyond recycling by taking a ‘whole system’ approach to the vast flow of resources and waste through human society.

Zero Waste maximizes recycling, minimizes waste, reduces consumption and ensures that products are made to be reused, repaired or recycled back into nature or the marketplace.

The Roadmap to ZERO WASTE:

  • Source Separation of Recyclables
  • Organic Waste Diversion
  • Correct Waste Categorization
  • Workplace Education
  • Waste Reduction through Procurement
  • Monitor and Report
  • Waste Auditing
  • Reduce and Reuse
  • Energy from Waste – Repurposing Waste as a Resource – Zero to Landfill


In the waste management hierarchy, energy recovery is considered the next best waste management alternative after reduction, reuse, and recycling.  Many progressive companies across North America incorporate energy recovery as part of their zero waste and zero landfill goals.

Some of the advantages that the Emerald Energy from Waste (EfW) facility has over landfilling include the production of electricity, the reduction of greenhouse gases (GHGs), and the preservation of landfill space.

  • ELandfill space saved per tonne of waste burned at the EfW = 0.8 m3
  • EEfW vs. landfill in Southwestern Ontario: 7 tonnes less of CO2 offsets per tonne of waste
  • EOne tonne of waste sent to EFW produces 420 KW of electricity sold on the grid

Emerald and U-Pak create energy from your waste

Waste Is a Resource That Should Not Be Buried in a Hole

Emerald is a thermal treatment facility capable of processing non-hazardous solid waste from municipal (MSW), industrial, commercial institutional (ICI) sources.

Focusing on the Environment

The Emerald EfW facility operates under an amended Certificate of Approval issued by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment that incorporates ongoing improvements and upgrades to the facility. The facility underwent a major refurbishment in 2010 that extended the life of Emerald EfW for another 25 years. Stack emissions are continuously monitored, and results are submitted to the Ministry of Environment on a monthly basis. In addition, the facility undergoes a more detailed analysis once a year through annual stack testing.

The facility has been in compliance with its environmental license throughout its entire 25-year operation. Approximately 2,200 tonnes of ferrous metal are recovered from the Emerald facility annually.

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