Niagara Falls Hosts 2017 Waste & Recycling Expo
By Marek Krasuski
On October 25 and 26 Niagara Falls was the galvanizing location for stakeholders involved in the waste recycling and disposal industry. Some 200 exhibitors from Canada, the US and Europe came together at the Scotiabank Convention Centre in this international tourist centre to participate in the Waste & Recycling Expo Canada/Municipal Equipment Expo Canada. The Exposition, now in its 20th year, was pleased to partner, for the seventh consecutive year, with the Ontario Waste Management Association (OWMA) which organized and spearheaded the Canadian Waste to Resource Conference, a forum running concurrently with the Trade Show where industry leaders and stakeholders shared their experience and expertise in multiple track sessions.
According to Michele Goulding, OWMA Director of Finance and Member Services, the Conference is an exciting opportunity to share best practices, ideas and innovations that contribute to environmental sustainability through the productive use of waste, so prevalent in developed nations. “We began with general sessions in the morning and then broke into sessions focusing on a range of topics from green energy, waste disposal, recycling, organics and land fill. Highlights included the Environmental Commissioner as keynote speaker and an informative address by noted anthropologist Robin Nagle from New York University,” Goulding said.
The Conference was further highlighted by special events like waste sector facility tours sponsored by the OWMA and an Opening Night Gala Reception that included food and networking opportunities among the many guests and exhibitors.
The Conference was chock full of compelling topics for industry professionals and laypersons eager to learn about the effects of waste on the environment and opportunities for remediation. Subject matter included fundamentals on waste management, carbon pricing, highlighting projects that successfully reduce food waste, recycling and market opportunities, among many others.
Indeed, the Conference opened a plethora of topics which revealed the complexity and multiplicity of issues germane to this unique sector. As an example, one seminar addressed waste management in Northern and remote communities in light of the Waste-Free Ontario Act. The presentation explored the challenges facing northern communities in developing waste management solutions with limited funds available. The town of Smooth Rock Falls was cited as an example of innovative waste management practices. The host city of Niagara Falls was also showcased for its resourcefulness in waste management, minimization, reuse, and recycling. Many other presentations and discussion groups underlined the importance of this sector which, if not properly managed, will continue to have sweeping ramifications for the well-being of the planet. The OWMA has been operating since the 1970s, long before the perils of excessive waste and environmental threats entered widespread public consciousness. The association works with some 250 companies and organizations to develop detailed research and provide expert advice with the objective of increasing recycling, addressing climate change, and fostering investment and innovation in the waste management sector.
While some wrestled with the challenges and opportunities in discussions at the Conference, others viewed waste recycling in action at the adjoining Trade Show where exhibitors showcased the latest in waste management technology, research, development and resources. Among those queried by Ontario Trucking News was the Canadian company Shu-Pak Equipment Inc., manufacturer of refuse collection equipment for over four decades. Shu-Pak offers side loading collection vehicles for multiple applications which are outfitted for use by one operator. Custom builds are available to meet the specific needs of each client. The company completes its own cab conversions for individual requirements. Among Shu-Pak’s product line is the longstanding Pac-King, available in two versions – one as a single stream side loader equipped with an 18 inch deep packer; the second with a split stream that shares the same packer. The Pac-King is engineered with two valve banks, one frame mounted behind the cab to control hoist cylinders with manual override, and one body mounted to control all other hydraulic functions.
On display as well were excavators by Takeuchi, the first company to introduce compact excavators to the North American market. Takeuchi builds excavators, track loaders, skid steers and wheel loaders. Their compact design allows for superior maneuverability to work in tight areas. Wheel loaders, for example, are ideal landscaping machines as they work in confined spaces with minimal damage to lawns, pavement and other sensitive areas. Alongside the Wheel Loaders are the Takeuchi Steer Loaders, which the company says feature class leading ground clearance and rear departure angles, high travel speeds, excellent traction and powerful digging capability.
Modification of standard equipment to meet specific industry needs is a testament to industry innovation. This includes companies like Keith Manufacturing, an expert in material handling solutions with loading/unloading products for bulk materials, pallets, bales and rolls. Among its reengineered systems is a walking floor to unload bulk material. “The Walking Floor® system consists of a series of reciprocating slats which serve as the flooring to the mobile unloader or bin. When activated, the Walking Floor conveyor ‘walks’ the load in or out,” Keith says. Floor slats are available in light, medium and heavy duty applications to meet most material handling needs.
Being a border town it’s no surprise than many of Canada’s American counterparts participated in the Trade Show with their latest wares. The New York-based Buffalo Turbine brought to the attention of participants its selection of efficient and powerful dust suppression tools, ideal for industrial and construction environments. The Buffalo Turbine Dust Controller is an effective misting system that suppresses dust, odor and smoke in industrial and commercial applications. Dust control misting systems are available in diesel, gas, electric PTO and hydraulic, and are lightweight and compact. A gyrating atomizing nozzle is capable of misting water volumes from less than one gallon per minute up to 25 gallons per minute.
Of interest to visitors unfamiliar with waste recycling technologies was the exotic appearance of some of the machinery on display, so much so that it’s hard to determine what they are and what they do. Machinery from Komtech Americas is a case in point. Komtech, which is headquartered in Austria with a distributorship in Colorado, manufactures equipment for the mechanical and biological treatment of solid waste and for the treatment of biomass as a renewable energy source. They provide over 30 machine types covering the spectrum of modern waste handling, right from the shredding process to separation and biological treatment. Featured among Komtech’s product line is the Topturn X, one of the most widely used compost turners in the world. Now in its third iteration the Topturn offers a sturdier telescopic frame, high performance hydraulics, and a larger turning drum for higher throughput.
At the risk of exaggerating the analogy, it’s hard not to think of today’s recycling equipment as the modern day equivalent of the alchemists of the middle ages. While they worked on transforming lead into gold, at least symbolically, today’s machines are changing garbage into usable and valuable products. The Ohio-based Ecoverse offers a full line of environmental processing equipment from various providers, including Doppstadt, a manufacturer whose products exemplify the resourcefulness of processing raw materials into usable products. Their AK Series grinders, for example, offer a wealth of performance enhancing features which process everything from dimensional lumber and green waste to the conversion of land clearing material into final saleable products. Additional processing equipment like the Doppstadt extruders separate liquid and solid fractions from biodegradable waste for biogas production, thermal utilization or composting. Other brands in the Ecoverse product lineup include Backhus, Harvest Quest, Backers and Tiger.
For 20 years the Waste & Recycling Exposition has provided a forum for connecting resources – people, products and services – in this burgeoning and exciting industry. Expect more innovative engineered products in subsequent annual events.☚