A member of the sustainable development cohort in partner with Community Futures (CF) as well as the municipality of Saint-Ambroise, RSI Environmental is a key player and a leader for its work in industrial ecology and circular economy.
Since Mr. Landry acquired the plant in 2013 and with the recent addition of a new residual hazardous materials permit, RSI Environmental has been able to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 64 500 metric tons.
This commitment to sustainable development can be seen throughout the company; particularly by major investments into modifying part of the process in order to recover energy or by installing new equipment that will optimize the power source to further reduce the use of fuels such as propane. Ultimately, Mr. Landry’s goal is to take a company’s industrial waste and transform it back into a raw material while RSI Environmental does its part by reducing its industrial waste to zero.
For this to happen, RSI Environmental is partnering with Agrinova, an experienced agronomist firm that performs laboratory testing to use RSI’s treated soil to make an all-purpose potting soil. This soil could then be used for cultivating vegetables in greenhouses which could be heated by the same energy recuperated by the process.
RSI Environmental’s management team’s ultimate goal is to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills as much as possible as well as recycle, in a greater proportion, soil and other materials while respecting the aim of the Department of Sustainable Development, Environment and Climate Change. Sustainable development is of great importance to RSI Environmental. It drives their determination and hard work and serves as a constant to reminder of the importance of protecting the Earth and purifying it.
The RSI Environmental treatment centre is located in Saint-Ambroise, in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region. Looking at the facility’s geographical location in North America, you can see that RSI Environmental is the only facility in Quebec, and is very well positioned to receive contaminated soil from all over Canada, Quebec and the northeastern United States. The decontamination process is unique and allows for soil remediation of the highest standards.
Our technology allows for material remediation; it is our greatest advantage over the competition. The large capacity warehouse also allows for acceptance of material year-round. Given the existing ventilation systems, any type of organic contaminant can be quickly be stored without emitting any contamination into the air.
In addition, any handling of material is done inside one of the warehouses with no risk to the environment therefore, it is not necessary to do any segregation on site. Our experienced employees screen the soil, and rocks are crushed to a diameter of less than 4 inches. Wood and plastic are shredded, and iron is sorted. All waste is then moved to the kiln for treatment. RSI Environmental accepts all types of organic contaminants without any restrictions.
The facility is the only decontamination centre with an environmental management system registered with the ISO 14001:2015 standard. In fact, an environmental monitoring system has been implemented going far beyond any legal requirements. RSI Environmental works in collaboration with the Department of Sustainable Development, Environment and Climate Change, as well as various other government organizations in Ontario, Canada, the United States, etc.
RSI Environmental has the capacity to receive over 4,000 tons per day, and the possibility of treating up to 100,000 tons per year. RSI’s material tracking system makes it possible to determine the origin, reception date, treatment date, and final destination for each shipment of soil. Each client is given an acceptance certificate when the soil arrives on site, as well as a certificate of destruction once the soil has been treated. This unique process eliminates the short and long term liability of clients. Contaminated waste can be received by ship, train or truck.
When in operation, the RSI facility employs more than 45 employees. Similar to our environmental controls, our working conditions continuously exceed industry standards. RSI Environment strives to employ and purchase locally in a constant effort to give back to the community of Saint-Ambroise.
For more than five years, RSI Environmental has adhered to a corporate ethics policy and good business conduct. To this end, a code of ethics and integrity, including a reporting policy, has been put in place. The main objective of this policy and code is to prevent dubious or fraudulent practices, and they include several procedures to achieve this goal. All employees, without exception, are subject to this policy and are trained on the subject annually.
A message from the president: RSI Environmental operates a processing centre for the treatment of contaminated soil. With 40 certificates of authorization and licenses for treating residual hazardous waste, the RSI Environmental team has developed a unique expertise in permanently recycling all types of organic contaminants. Most of the members of our team have been employed by the company since the very first day of operation, more than 20 years ago. Some employees even participated in the construction of the plant before moving up the ladder to fill important roles in the operation and development of the company.
Jean-François Landry, engineer, became director of operations in 1997, and has been the general director since the early 2000s, all before acquiring the plant in 2013. With his team of experts, he has developed a technology that is unique in North America, recycling soil contaminated by organic compounds such as hydrocarbons, PCB’s, PFAS, dioxins, and furans, to name a few. The counter-current thermal desorption process is unique, and requires a thorough understanding of all combustion parameters. With raw materials that vary according to the type of soil (sand, clay, etc.), contaminant type, moisture content, or other factors, our team has developed unique ways to ensure safe decontamination.
Mr. Landry’s management team includes certified professional accountants, engineers, professionals in health, safety and the environment, as well as several industrial mechanics. The company is inspected annually by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, as well as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. It is also subject to inspections by its clients in accordance with ISO 14001, RSI Environmental being one of the only companies in North America to have this certification in addition to all the other standards and regulations in place. The RSI Environmental team meets all legal requirements, while continually improving their processes.
RSI Environmental operators have, for the most part, been employed by the company for many years. They have learned to operate optimally and safely. Given the wide range of waste treated, our employees must adapt their procedures depending on the type of material received. Our treatment process is unique and so are the members of our team who continually make management very proud.