Mowi Utilizes Innovative Gemini Recycling Program
Mowi Canada West is utilizing a new aquaculture plastic/ wood/cardboard recycling program offered by Gemini Marine Services Ltd.
Erin Agostini, Operations Manager for the Sunshine Coast-based company, says the program is centered at Earls Cove, which is next to the terminus for the B.C. Ferries route connecting the Sechelt Peninsula and Powell River. It also recently signed a multi-year lease with City Transfer in Richmond.
Gemini, a Canadian owned and operated company with 13 long-term employees, has been operating in the marine transport industry in B.C. for over 30 years. It delivers approximately 45,000 tons of freight to Mowi Canada West sites from Campbell River to Klemtu each year, and has done work for the company for over 20 years.
Gemini not only delivered freight to sites, they also collected the waste and packaging from the sites on their return trips. They had observed that their customers, wanting to make a positive difference in terms of recycling, were looking for workable plans to reduce, reuse and recycle their waste – other than simply being taken to the landfill for disposal.
“Over the years we noticed that most of the plastic from our customers was not being sorted and processed but going to landfills and also causing environmental concerns,” says Agostini, who has worked in the aquaculture industry since 2002. “So in early 2018 we took it upon ourselves to design and create a world class system to process all the bi-product of the freight we deliver to our customers.”
Gemini staff noticed that most of the plastic was not being sorted and processed, but going to landfills, where it was causing environmental concerns since it was being offloaded, sometimes sitting in open lots for 4-6 weeks with rodents and birds dragging items into local rivers.
Gemini has designed and created a world class system to process all the bi-product of the freight they deliver to its customers, and the company states that now, an estimated 99% of all bulk bags, plastic liners, cardboard and wood pallets are processed and repurposed.
In 2019, the company invested in state-of-the-art equipment and in the construction of a 7,000 square foot building at its Earls Cove barge terminal which has dedicated space for handling, storage and processing plastic, wood and cardboard.
They expect to process approximately 250,000 kg of plastic and bulk bags from their aquaculture customers that will be delivered to recycling companies for repurposing. The recycled bulk bags, liners and plastic feed bags are being transformed into pellets, with the majority being turned into bags, bottles, drums, barrels, cages and pallets.
“We greatly appreciate the hard work that the sites have been doing to help us with this process, as they are responsible for sorting the pallets, bulks bags, liners and cardboard, prior to us picking it up,” Agostini says. “We are very pleased to continue to invest in the industry to reduce the amount of waste going into landfills.”