Recycling Over One Thousand Tonnes of HDPE Pipes at Highland Valley Copper Operations

Highland Valley Copper Operations, Canada


Teck supports responsible production by providing products that contribute to sustainability while also working to minimize environmental impacts. At our Highland Valley Copper (HVC) operations, a new high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe recycling project is contributing to the circular economy, in line with our values around responsible product management. 

HDPE Pipe at HVC

HDPE pipe used to transport tailings and water at HVC had accumulated from general usage over the years, reaching a total of over 1,300 metric tonnes by 2022. A system upgrade in 2012 had also contributed a large amount of debris to the existing accumulation of scrap pipe. HDPE pipe has historically been difficult to dispose of. Until recently,there was no end use for the product and shipping the pipe was difficult. 

The Pipe Recycling Project

Shannon Deacon, Senior Buyer – Supply Chain Management at HVC, saw an opportunity to improve the management of this waste product through Secure Energy Solutions, which has had tremendous success with HDPE processing and marketing. With the support of Secure Energy Solutions, the new HDPE recycling project began in January 2022. Secure Energy assists with organizing the field work and transportation of the HDPE pipe, which are sent to receivers who clean and process it for recycling. 

Shannon sees this project as a perfect match for Teck’s values around responsible product management. “A long time ago, it was industry standard to bury HDPE pipe when it was done being used. Today, recycling it is a viable, practical and responsible alternative.” Over 1,300 metric tonnes of HDPE pipe at HVC have been sent to recycling, with an additional 232 metric tonnes scheduled to be sent this year for a total of nearly 1,600 metric tonnes of HDPE pipe being recycled. 

The success of this project has provided a long-term solution to HDPE pipe waste management at HVC. In the coming year, we are planning to expand this project to additional areas of the site. 

Learn more about our Approach to Responsible Production.

First published on March 14, 2023