Lafarge Canada Inc. has applied for industrial approval of a one-year pilot project, which will allow the company to incinerate scrap tires using them as a low-carbon fuel at its cement plant in Brookfield, Nova Scotia.

The company believes that this step may reduce its dependence on high-carbon fuels such as petroleum coke and coal. These fuels have been used by the Colchester County plant to power its kilns; if Lafarge uses tire-derived fuel (TDF) as a fossil fuel substitute, it will cut its energy costs and can potentially mitigate its CO2 emissions.

On July 6, the local Environment Department released its environmental assessment of the project. Now, the application is under review: once the officials find it complete, they will have to make a decision within 60 days.

Earlier this year, there were some concerns expressed by local citizens that burning tires can have negative impact on the environment, polluting water and air.

In August, a group of activists, Citizens Against the Burning of Tires (CABOT), doubted the environmental assessment and started a court challenge appealing to a Nova Scotia Supreme Court with request to review it. A judicial review will take place in the beginning of spring. On December 14, a motion to present additional evidence has been set.

Given the recycling industry’s progress, it would be meaningless for the authorities to endorse the pilot plan, said in an email one of the CABOT’s representatives, Lydia Sorflaten.

She said that Lafarge has been applying for approval to incinerate tires before, and this is the third time it does it. The second time the multinational company was seeking an approval, was ten years ago – in times when tire recycling industry was only emerging. But now, when the provincial tire recycling industry is well-developed, it can be damaged if Lafarge is allowed to burn scrap tires.

Concerns were also expressed by a tire recycling company in Halifax that shreds scrap tires into a tire-derived aggregate (TDA). Halifax claimed that Lafarge will reduce its supply of used tires.

Around one million used tires are generated in the province annually. Divert Nova Scotia collects scrap tires and it has had a contract with Halifax for the past eight years.

Lafarge has the right to access 30 per cent of scrap tires in the province as part of a five-year tender that it won before. Thus, it is paid for collection and disposal of the used tires. Lafarge already incinerates scrap tires in Quebec. The company said that if it is given permission to burn tires in Nova Scotia, CO2 emissions will in fact be reduced.

Article source: Truro Daily News