Kiyoshi Nakajima of Blest Co. Ltd. installs the Blest -240 Plastics to Oil machine in Whitehorse, Yukon. The machine melts down old plastic to heat homes.
PHOTO COURTESY OF STEPHEN MOONEY
Inside the P&M recycling depot in Whitehorse sit 60 tonnes of disposable coffee lids, yogurt containers and grocery bags.
But to depot owner Pat McInroy, these heaps of mangled trash are no eyesore. They’re a gold mine for heating fuel.
The depot has installed a machine imported from Japan that converts plastic into synthetic diesel that can be used to heat up to 70 homes.
One of only two recycling facilities in Whitehorse, the depot previously had to pay to ship the city’s recyclable waste 2,370 kilometres to Vancouver.
“We’re shipping a lot out of here that has little to no value,” said McInroy. “If we can turn it into heating fuel, well, I can’t stress enough the value of heating fuel in the North.”
The machine can convert 240 kg of plastic a day to produce 240 litres of synthetic diesel — a combination of kerosene, gasoline and light crude, which can be used in a furnace.