<··· Back to Previous

<<··· Back to Home

Contact Us

Ulf T. Runesson

Faculty of Natural
Resources Management,
Lakehead University

955 Oliver Road,
Thunder Bay, Ontario,
Canada P7B 5E1

     (807) 343-8784

     (807) 346-7769


Through technological change, economics of production and government regulation, Northwestern Ontario's pulp and paper mills and wood industry have managed to minimize environmental impacts while remaining competitive in the global market.

Pulp and paper mills throughout northwestern Ontario have taken substantial steps to minimize and improve their effluent discharges through construction of secondary treatment plants, modern industrial practices and the substitution of chlorine with chlorine dioxide as bleaching agents. As a result, effluent discharges are now non-toxic, contain non-measurable amounts of dioxins and furans and are well within government limits for other criteria. For example, mills are now typically removing greater than 85 percent of the biological oxygen demand (BOD) and total suspended solids (TSS) from effluent with some operations achieving greater than 95 percent efficiency. In addition, discharges of total organo-chlorines from most mills are already well below the government limit set for the year 2000.

With increasing pressure on available landfill space, the industry has also taken up the challenge to reduce residual process waste from going to landfill sites. This has included the increased use of biosolids and bark as fuel for steam and electricity generation which not only directs these materials away from landfill but reduces the industry's reliance on non-renewable fossil fuels. Some mills have been successful at receiving government approval for beneficial use programs, including one mill which has diverted over 95 percent of boiler ash from landfill as a free soil amendment for the agricultural community. Mills are also addressing the life-cycle of their products through recycling. Everyday hundreds of tonnes of old newspapers and magazines are diverted from landfills as a result of modern de-inking and recycling technology.

Finally, several mills in northwestern Ontario are actively pursuing ISO 14001 certification, which is an internationally accepted standard for Environmental Management Systems. Certification under the ISO 14001 standard formalizes specific environmental management programs and assures continual improvement in every aspect of an operation's activities that could impact on the environment. A mill in Thunder Bay is striving for certification by December 1997, which will make it only the third mill in Canada to receive this certification.

Last Modified: January 20, 2014 20:01:06. 
Copyright © 2011 Faculty of Natural Resources Management, Lakehead University. All Rights Reserved.