Bill McMullen introduced Norm Kraft, the CEO of Niagara Recycling. Bill reviewed the history of recycling from its startup in the late 70’s and early 80’s. A board was set up to find a way to fund recycling from the proceeds of the work. From a 5,000 sq. foot building, the operation expanded and eventually responsibility was handed over to the Region and a corporation established to run it. Operations are now housed in a 100,000 sq. foot building in Niagara Falls. There is a good working relationship with the Region and St. Catharines in this effort. The partnership has been very cooperative and has become profitable. He said that Norm Kraft is considered one of the top experts in this field.
Norm took over from Bill and showed a slide explaining the dual role of Niagara Recycling, as a nonprofit social enterprise company involved in environmental stewardship. Currently employing 80 people, it also takes recycling materials from Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge and Haldimand County with a 25 -ton capacity truck. In 2015 revenue was in the order of $8 million of which $2 million was a contribution to Niagara. Additionally the company has supported other organizations with sizeable financial contributions including an after school respite program for children with disabilities. It has also helped fund courses in cooperation with Brock University to support special needs programs. Niagara Recycling has also made commitments to support Red Roof Retreat, where children can learn camping and other outdoor skills, as well as to Pathstone mental health programs.
The company’s objective is to be a model of efficiency and revenue generation. Recently one of its projects in recycling plastic bags resulted in an award as best in Canada. The introduction of many sophisticated machines has made the operation more productive. Bailing of paper and cardboard, steel scrap, aluminum waste and glass all generate profit. Norm showed a number of slides showing the equipment that has been installed to help increase the company’s efficiency. Four to five truckloads of bailed paper are shipped daily. Kraft said that Niagara Recycling is a leader in product development and is the only recycling plant in Canada to produce a finished product with its Niagara Ecoglass which can be used as a blasting abrasive.
On the subject of household hazardous waste he explained how recent developments allow the public better access to two sites to deliver paint cans and the like five days a week. For more information he suggested visiting Facebook.com/Niagara Recycling. The company also has an informative website at www.niagararecycling.ca.