Achievements in waste management and recycling
In 2011, we sought out new ways to reduce our impact on the environment through the diversion of waste from landfills. Our efforts encompass the breadth of our operations, from the paper we use in the office to cellular phones we sell to our customers. These efforts included the sourcing of a new general waste management contractor. Unfortunately, due to differing methodologies for estimating waste volumes between our former and current waste management contractor, we are unable to provide a year-over-year comparison of waste collection and diversion. We intend to have comparisons available in the future.
In 2011, we diverted over 7,700 metric tonnes of material from landfills and this included the following:
TELUS operations generate a variety of solid wastes. Our significant accomplishments in solid waste diversion included recycling the following:
- 2,422 metric tonnes of paper and 1,020 metric tonnes of cardboard
- 1,265 metric tonnes of metal
- 262 metric tonnes of wood
- 1,450 metric tonnes of decommissioned telephone poles.
TELUS remains committed to ensuring the internal electronic waste (e-waste) generated from our operations as well as the electronic products sold to our customers are recycled, refurbished or repurposed. In 2011 we recycled, refurbished and repurposed 422 metric tonnes of e-waste. Through the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association’s Recycle My Cell program we recycled 236,391 wireless devices, compared to 156,150 in 2010 exceeding our 2011 goal of 160,000 wireless devices. Our goal for 2012 is to recycle 250,000 wireless devices. In 2011 we also donated 3,185 computers and printers to the Computers for Schools program.
In 2011, TELUS also updated its B.C. electronic equipment stewardship plan to include customer premise equipment as required by the B.C. Ministry of Environment. TELUS has been collecting, refurbishing for reuse, reselling and recycling our customers’ electronics for many years now. Our new plan will allow these processes to be tracked more formally and reported annually to the British Columbia government.
Although TELUS’ operations generate small quantities of hazardous waste, we continue to look for reductions, and where possible, use non-hazardous alternatives. In 2011, TELUS:
- Recycled 5,961 kilograms of used motor oil, antifreeze and fuel from our fleet operations
- Recycled 223 metric tonnes of batteries from our network equipment and fleet operations
- Recycled 3,375 kilograms of liquid and solid chemicals from our facilities.