At Teck, promoting the responsible use, reuse, recycling, recovery and disposal of materials is an important part of our work in materials stewardship, and this work extends beyond our operations.
We engage with governments, manufacturers and users of our products to promote effective, efficient and economic recycling of metals. And we take action where we feel our technology and experience can help society.
Take fluorescent bulbs, for example. While these bulbs promote energy efficiency, they also contain mercury, which is a potential hazard to the environment if not disposed correctly. In 2010, our Trail Operations started a fluorescent light bulb recycling program, which has processed more than 315 tonnes of waste to date. Bulbs are crushed by external suppliers and placed into steel drums for shipping to Trail Operations, where we ensure that all parts of the bulbs are recycled. Glass, metal and ceramic components are used in the lead smelter to help recover other agents. Non-recoverable materials, such as steel, are used to make cement. Mercury dust is fed into zinc roasters and recovered as a stable mercury-chloride product, which after being refined, is sold for use in the manufacture of new fluorescent bulbs.