ARTEX Environmental Corporation is a privately owned Canadian electronic waste recycling company located in the Pearson Eco-Business Zone in Toronto and a long standing client of the RIC Centre. The following is a feature on ARTEX’s 44,000 square foot E-waste recycling facility published in the GTAA Partners in Project Green’s February 2012 newsletter.
ARTEX specializes in the end processing of retired and obsolete electronic waste, providing an environmentally responsible alternative for electronic waste (E-waste) disposal. E-waste includes, but is not limited to, computers, peripherals (e.g., keyboards), storage devices (e.g., disk drives, CDs, DVDs), printers, ATMs, and personal electronic devices (e.g., cell phones, PDAs, calculators, televisions).
ARTEX’s 44,000 square foot E-waste recycling facility is designed to process “end-of-life” electronic products while exceeding government and industry environmental standards, maximizing the recovery of recyclable elements such as plastic, base and precious metals, and guaranteeing an organization’s data is protected and securely destroyed . ARTEX demonstrates its commitment to environmentally and socially responsible solutions to E-waste recycling by diverting all electronic waste materials from landfill and by guaranteeing that no assets or materials are sent to developing countries for processing.
To further its environmental commitment, ARTEX is looking at ways to improve energy performance at its facility. The company recently partnered with Partners in Project Green’s Energy Management Co-op Program to identify potential energy efficiencies. Through the co-op program, students from participating universities and colleges help companies identify and evaluate opportunities to reduce energy consumption. Under the guidance of a professional energy management mentor, students complete technical, financial, environmental and operational analyses of high-potential opportunities, and develop project proposals for the highest value projects. Students then assist in planning and implementing approved projects.
For four months, a co-op student from the University of Waterloo was assigned to help ARTEX identify energy reduction opportunities at its facility. Using metering equipment provided by the program, the student identified energy savings opportunities around the facility’s shredding process, compressor, heating and lighting systems. Further investigation of the shredder and compressor determined that changes to the shredder would not require any capital investment and result in a $12,000 savings. Changes to the compressor, which was identified as a significant source of wasted energy, could achieve $1,700 savings.
Additionally, the student conducted a time study to evaluate process optimization opportunities that could lean their de-manufacturing process. Looking at a process for the large variety of obsolete E-waste items, the student identified and implemented a number of changes to improve run-through times, including removing manual labour, optimizing work spaces and tool optimization. The student’s work resulted in up to an 80 per cent improvement in time allocation for selected processes. ARTEX was pleased with this outcome and has hired back the co-op student for another term to work on developing and implementing a 5S program (sorting, straightening, systematic cleaning, standardizing, and sustaining).