Groups want more information about burning tires for fuel at paper mill

Gary Kean
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Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Mill

CORNER BROOK — The entity in charge of nearly two million used tires in the province says it hopes to announce a plan for the stockpile soon.

The Multi-Materials Stewardship Boar (MMSB) also says Corner Brook Pulp and Paper has not yet ruled out using the rubber as a fuel source for its operations.

It has been five years since the paper mill in Corner Brook first proposed the idea of having tires shredded at a facility outside of the mill used as an alternate energy source.

Shredded into one-inch chips, the tires would be fed into the bark stream which currently flows into the mill’s steam plant. The rate would be a half tonne of chips every hour added to nearly 30 tonnes per hour of bark and sawdust.

The paper company said with some investment, this could be done while maintaining a high standard of environmental performance and continued adherence to permitted emission levels.

But the plan was met with much criticism on the west coast, including letters to the editor opposing the idea and even public protests.

Despite the company’s commitments and the provincial Department of Environment and Conservation stating its investigations into the idea supported the mill’s claim this could be done in an environmentally responsible fashion, Corner Brook Pulp and Paper withdrew its proposal in November 2005. At the time, discussions between the provincial government and the MMSB had reached an impasse.

Earlier that fall, the MMSB said it had two options for what to do with the tires, although it never disclosed what those two options were and never announced a final choice.

The MMSB is keeping mum on its plan for the 1.9 million used tires currently stockpiled in Placentia, though a plan may not be far off from being made public.

“MMSB has been analyzing a number of alternatives for tire recycling in the province, and we hope to make an announcement very soon,” Carol Ann Carter, the MMSB’s acting director of marketing, public education and communications, said in an e-mail Wednesday. “Until that time, we’ll not comment on options being considered or the details of those options.”

Jean Majeau, senior vice-president of corporate affairs and communications with Kruger — the Corner Brook mill’s parent company, confirmed using tire-derived fuel is still on the table.

He said any decision to go ahead with such a plan would require an environmental assessment.

The number of used tires stockpiled in 2005 stood at about 1.4 million and it was estimated at the time that Newfoundland and Labrador generated around 546,000 used tires annually.

Carter said some tires have been shipped to end markets based in Quebec, which might explain why the volume currently stands at only 1.9 million tires five years later.

A tender has also been issued for baling of the tires and a restructuring of the storage yard in Placentia to decrease storage fees.

The Western Star

Organizations: Department of Environment and Conservation, Kruger

Geographic location: CORNER BROOK, Placentia, Newfoundland and Labrador Quebec Western Star

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Recent comments

  • jason bull
    October 08, 2010 - 13:53

    from what we learned last time around... no electrostatic precipitators or scrubbers on the stacks + not nearly high enough boiler temperatures = furans & dioxins, mercury and a host of other nasty substances being emitted into the atmosphere from the 'melting' of tires. i really hoped we had said enough on that last time. no? need we place 5,000 protest signatures (like we did 5 years ago within a matter of days) under your doors again joe kruger? its a simple matter because no one wants those tires burnt in their town. seems to me someone at the MMSB needs to start accounting for all the money they've collected for those tires already, instead of trying to dump them off on kruger and poison the people of Corner Brook with them.

  • Dara
    October 08, 2010 - 09:02

    Why is no one in Newfoundland sezing the opportunity to create jobs and access our road paving markets by recycling those tires into paving pellets? There has to be an investor in our province interested in this. After all, we all know how much repair Newfoudland roads need - an at home market that wouldn't rely on shipping product out of province is ideal! Let the tires that tore up the roads be part of their repair.

    • Rob
      October 08, 2010 - 11:26

      I live in Fort McMurray (like so many other Newfoundlanders) and the city tried a pilot project using the rubber road pellets on a main road and I assure you that you do not want these types of roads in the provience. Within a couple of months the road was a mess and full of potholes which we had to put up with for quite a while (I think over a year, maybe two) until they got a crew to repave the road. Cold, moist climates are not suitable for this type of road as the moisture seeps in and when it freezes & expands the road forms cracks. Maybe they could produce the pellets to sell to the states or ship elsewhere.