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Eliot Sorella, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ecolomondo Corporation, spoke with The Review during a visit to the company's new facility in Hawkesbury. Photo by Reid Masson

Ecolomondo turnkey tire recycling facility in Hawkesbury a showcase for company’s technology

The new Ecolomondo Thermal Decomposition (TDP) in Hawkesbury will be the first of its kind in the world when it begins operations scheduled for later this summer.

The new plant, located just east of Tupper Street, is equipped with the latest technology and will be the first automotive tire recycling facility which will be able to completely recycle all materials from end of-life tires. The plant will produce marketable end-products: oil, steel, fiber, recycled carbon black and syngas, and will be equipped to secondary process them to improve their quality.

“(The plant) is the first of its kind that will be able to not only decompose the waste, but process it as well,” said Eliot Sorella, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ecolomondo Corporation, in an interview with The Review. “It will be the first tire recycling plant in the world that decomposes, processes and resells all of the products from the waste for re-use by industry.”

The term ‘turnkey’ comes from the fact the facility is delivered from conception to commissioning, with four departments – tire shredding, thermal decomposition, recycled carbon black and oil refining – that process and recycle tires down to their core raw materials. When in full operation – expected to be in late August or September – the plant will employ approximately 40 workers. All of the processes are contained within the facility, which is designed to be both green and operate in a safe environment for employees.

“We spent heavily on air filtration within the plant, safety, emissions control, noise and odor,” Sorella said proudly. “This plant is state-of-the-art in terms of employee security and environmental controls.”

The steel structure itself is 46,000 square feet with an indoor clearance of 28 feet. Behind the building are located large storage tanks for gas, oil and fractionation of the oil. The total estimated budget for the project is $37.6 million, of which $32.1 million is provided through the loan facility of Export Development Canada (EDC).

While some people may have a vision of a tire recycling plant as having huge piles of used tires on the property, the new Hawkesbury facility will have no such eyesore. All of the tires and other materials will arrive in a just-in-time fashion and be processed immediately.

“There is no area to stockpile anything outside,” Sorella explained during a walk-through of the facility. “As the tires come off the truck they are processed in real time.”

“The plant operates 24 hours per day so there is no need to store tires inside or outside the building. We schedule delivery of tires based on the shredding availability. Our goal is to be an ideal corporate citizen, so our site will look like any other industrial building.”

The new plant will emit only CO 2 in small amounts. Ecolomondo’s chairman points out the total emissions from the plant are far less than what is normally created in the manufacturing of the type of products which will come out of the Hawkesbury facility.

“We are creating products, that if they had to be manufactured anew, would create many times the amount of emissions,” Sorella noted. “We are considered a green process because we are creating products that actually reduce (CO 2 ) emissions.”

The facility in Hawkesbury is the first of many that Ecolomondo plans to build around the world and will be used as a model to showcase the company’s TDP technology. Plans are already underway for a similar facility to be built in the United States, which will be three times the size of the one in Hawkesbury. Some of the plants will be owned by Ecolomondo and others will be built for various clients.

“What we are showing is the capability of our process, we process waste to create products to be re-used,” said Sorella. “There are other companies in the world doing something similar, but we do it in a way that is much greener, much cleaner, much safer and more efficient.”

“We’ve had a lot of interest from potential clients all over the globe, because they see the way we are doing things.”

One of the reasons Ecolomondo opted to locate its new facility in Hawkesbury is due to the town’s central location between Ottawa and Montreal. Finding good employees is a priority for the company and Hawkesbury puts it in a location, where both cities are within an hour’s
drive for potential commuters. However the company’s chairman notes Ecolomondo’s priority is to recruit local workers.

Anyone who would like to apply to work at Ecolomondo in Hawkesbury is invited to send
their application by email to [email protected] .

“We’ve had great success in (recruiting) so far, but we are still looking for people, so if someone would like to work here tell them to please send in their resume,” Sorella said. “We read every one.”

Reid Masson

Reid Masson is a graduate of Algonquin College's Journalism Program. He has over 20 years of experience as a staff writer and editor for various newspapers across Canada, including The Ottawa Citizen and Brockville Recorder and Times.

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