Terrapure Environmental wants to change the way the world thinks about waste

December 2, 2020

Good Business, Innovative Services And Environmental Stewardship

BRITISH COLUMBIA – “Changing Waste for Good.”

This mission statement drives Terrapure Environmental, with a desire to shift the way the world thinks about waste with solutions good not only for business, but for society and the environment.

Erica Ellefsen is Senior Technical Coordinator for Western Canada

Leaders in industrial waste management, environmental and industrial services, Terrapure’s history across Canada is deep, with their unique presence on Vancouver Island being no different.

Terrapure’s former parent company opened a small environmental services facility in Nanaimo in 1994. Since then, the company’s footprint on the Island has grown, with a fully permitted environmental waste processing facility in Nanaimo, acquisition of a federally permitted, state of the art water and oil treatment facility in Victoria, and a used oil and hazardous waste management facility in Port Alberni, expanding their environmental services on the Island.

In 2015, Terrapure, previously operating as the industrial division of another company, became its own independent entity under new ownership. Long time Vancouver Island resident, Erica Ellefsen joined shortly after as their Senior Technical Coordinator for Western Canada. Erica, holds a bachelors of science with a major in biology, and has lived on the Island since 2009 after working in industrial and oilfield hazardous waste management in Alberta.

An operator takes a sample of used oil at Terrapure’s Victoria Facility, part of an acquisition that expanded Terrapure’s services, resources and pool of facilities for new and existing clients in BC.

In short, she was ideal to further Terrapure’s mission to offer solutions helping companies across the Island reduce waste, restore operational efficiency and recover value from their waste streams.

Erica explains, “As the Senior Technical Coordinator for Western Canadian Facilities, I work with our commercial and operations teams to assist in correctly classifying and profiling industrial and commercial hazardous waste in order to provide optimal recycling and disposal solutions to our clients for their most technically challenging waste streams. I provide guidance to ensure waste is transported and handled in a safe, environmentally friendly, and legally compliant manner. As a team, we provide tailored solutions to each customer based on their specific needs.”

The North Vancouver Facility, where re-refining provides recycled lubricants to local customers, providing a closed-loop, circular economy approach to oil recycling.

To offer said solutions, Terrapure has built a diverse suite of capabilities and services, everything from traditional industrial waste management and field services to industry leading battery and oil recycling, and more.

“We have many competitors in different parts of the business,” notes Erica, “Still, there is no one competitor offering the breadth of services and integrated national scope that we do. In BC specifically, we are unique in our ability to provide a local solution to recycle used oil at our North Vancouver re-refinery. By collecting used oil, re-refining it and then providing recycled lubricants to local customers, we provide a closed-loop, circular economy approach to oil recycling.”

Also, on-Island, Terrapure’s Esquimalt Graving dock water treatment facility is capable of treating millions of litres of hydrocarbon-impacted water annually. Their licensed hazardous waste facility in Nanaimo is designed to receive an array of containerized hazardous waste, and is equipped with an oily-sludge processing pad.

Terrapure operators check a tote of waste liquid, a vacuum truck in the background

To further grow their breadth of services, options and expertise nationally, Terrapure has made almost a dozen vital acquisitions over recent years, including Terratec Environmental in 2017, which added organics management to their repertoire, with Envirosystems Inc. and Hetherington Industries shortly thereafter, doubling Terrapure’s size to seventy locations, and bringing their current employee count to 2,000.

Elaborates Erica, “The Victoria Facility is another example of an acquisition which expanded our services, resources and pool of facilities for new and existing clients. We can protect the sensitive Vancouver Island ecosystem. while servicing many key industry sectors that drive the economy. Our operations and environmental services on the Island are a unique offering unmatched in BC.”

Vancouver Island is a showcase for the “Changing Waste for Good” mantra. The Island is foundational to Terrapure’s sustainable development and resourcing strategy for the recycling of oil re-refining across Western Canada.

“Our ability to turn waste into a value-added product as part of the circular economy is unmatched,” says Erica, “This ties perfectly with the environmentally focused culture of Vancouver Island. Being isolated from the mainland, logistics can be a challenge, but we work hard optimizing route collections and finding environmentally and cost-effective alternatives in line with our overall mission.”

And while this mission is being implemented across Terrapure facilities nationwide, Erica Ellefsen’s connection to this positive corporate mandate has a personal, local touch.

She concludes, “BC and Vancouver Island are my home. I believe it to be the most beautiful place on earth. I feel connected to the people, the land and its culture. I care very much about the people we work with, and am proud to say Terrapure is a local service provider for all of BC’s industries, both private and public. In terms of doing business as an environmental solutions provider, I am deeply passionate about doing the right thing, the right way, to protect BC’s pristine environment for a sustainable future.”


Share This