Workshop “The China Market: A New Reality”

On Tuesday, April 3, 2018, the RCA welcomed over 100 participants to this workshop held at Council Chambers, Strathcona County Community Centre / County Hall in Sherwood Park, AB.

Scroll down to Proceedings to download the presentations.

Watch a recording of the entire workshop here:


The National Sword in China has imposed strict restrictions on scrap paper and plastic imports into the country that have had widespread impact on North American access to recycling markets. Municipalities’ markets and pricing for recyclable materials have been impacted by China’s ban and are also affected by new, and currently unattainable, quality standards. This session featured presentations from brokers and waste processors who discussed the new reality of recycling markets, explained the changes in China and why the ban was implemented and provided guidance to waste and recycling generators for accessing new markets and improving sorting and quality standards.


This workshop was sponsored by the Canadian Plastics Industry Association and the Alberta Plastics Recycling Association

CPIA logo    


Click on the speaker name to download their presentation:

12:30 pm Welcome and Introductions
12:40 pm Introduction to Market Realities

12:45 pm The New Reality: Where have we come from and where are we now?

  • Tom Baranowski (Seaport International)
1:00 pm Chinese Sword Details

1:20 pm Current Domestic Market Capacity and Restrictions

2:00 pm Further Insights on Current Market Restrictions

2:15 pm Break
2:30 pm Panel: How to Move Forward – Collection Systems

  • Lorenzo Donini (GFL Environmental)
  • Al Metauro (Cascades Recovery+)
  • Karl Tiemstra (Can-Cell Industries)
  • Tony Moucachen (Merlin Plastics)
3:15 pm Panel: How to Move Forward – Processing Systems

  • Tom Baranowski (Seaport International)
  • Tony Moucachen (Merlin Plastics)
  • Al Metauro (Cascades Recovery+)
  • Mark Badger (Canada Fibers)
  • Rob Rennie (SUEZ Canada Waste Services Inc.)
4:00 pm Next Steps – Facilitated Discussion
4:30 pm Close

Professional Development / Continuing Education Units

This workshop has been added to Alberta Environment and Parks’ list of approved courses for continuing education for the Alberta Landfill Operator Certification Program. Participants can claim 0.3 CEUs for their attendance.

Speaker Bios

Tom Baranowski – VP Sales and Purchasing for Seaport International

Tom has been in involved in the recycling industry since 1990.  Starting at the recycling plant level, he set up business and community recycling programs for Weyerhaeuser’s Recycling Division in Washington. This expanded into a regional position which gave him good exposure to how recycling varies geographically. He finished his tenure with Weyerhaeuser buying mill direct supply for both their internal mills and partner mills which included the export market.

The next chapter in Tom’s career was full P&L responsibility of a trucking and recycling company which was owned by a small private paper mill in the northwest. This position required him to develop in-depth knowledge of the paper making process. He transitioned to his current position with Seaport International in 2013, where he applies his experience in paper manufacturing with the challenges of collection, processing, and marketing recyclable commodities.

Seaport International is one of the largest paper brokerage firms specializing in the paper, pulp, and recycling industry. Seaport International is one of the most trusted suppliers to paper mills in the Pacific Northwest and throughout Asia. Their direct relationships with mills throughout North America and Asia has enabled Seaport to form solid relationships with a variety of supply channels.


Lorenzo Donini – Manager, Material Processing and Municipal Development, GFL Environmental Inc.

Lorenzo is the Manager of Material Processing and Municipal Development at GFL Environmental Inc.

He is one of the former owners of Ever Green Ecological Services, which was instrumental in bringing curbside recycling and automated waste and organics collection programs to Central and Northern Alberta; as well as popularizing many LEED programs for major construction projects in the Edmonton Region. Lorenzo has fourteen years of experience designing, implementing, tracking and guiding integrated residential and commercial waste collection programs aimed at Landfill diversion.  Typical programs achieve between 55 to 65% diversion from Landfill routinely.

In his current position, Lorenzo is responsible for the basic assumptions and philosophy of most of GFL’s Western Canadian Municipal programs as well as the daily operation of a state-of-the-art Material Recovery Facility in Edmonton, built under Ever Green in 2014.


Al Metauro – Executive Vice President and CEO, Cascades Recovery

As the Executive Vice President of Cascades Recovery+, Al is responsible for the continued improvement and growth of the Division in all sectors of material recovery across Canada and the northeast USA. The portfolio of the Division’s operations include collection and recovery facilities for paper, packaging and other secondary materials, collected from both the Institutional, Commercial & Industrial and Municipal sectors. In addition, the Division is responsible for the procurement of 2 million tonnes of market-ready fibre for consumption by Cascades’ mills and for the marketing of market-ready materials generated by the Division’s operations as well as by third party operators.

As a founding partner of Metro Waste Paper Recovery Inc. (2010 name change to Cascades Recovery Inc) Al’s roots trace back to 1979 when Al, along with his brother Anthony started a small waste/recycling business. Their “entrepreneurial spirit and hands on approach’ took what began from the back of a pick-up truck to becoming a leading discarded material recovery company in North America. In 1995 Cascades Inc. partnered with Metro Waste and formed a strategic alliance that today encompasses 23 recovery facilities in Canada and the northeast USA, employs in excess of 1,100 employees who together are responsible for collection, processing and marketing of over 1,200,000 metric tonnes of recovered paper, packaging and other materials. With the demand for more diversion Al is leading the development of the company’s “Recovery …Plus” program, a program focused on the recovery of discarded materials for beneficial uses rather than their disposal in a landfill.

Notable accomplishments (2014) include Al leading a group of Canadian recyclers to join together and respond to an RFP in British Columbia that resulted in giving the new formed group, Green by Nature EPR (GBN) a contract to manage the entire post collection system for the Province. As the CEO of GBN, Al is responsible for the continued development of this new venture with a focus on addressing the needs of the Producers as they take on a more pronounced role in managing their printed paper and packaging.

On November 30th, 2015 Al and his brother agreed to sell the balance of their shares to Cascades and to join the Cascades family heading a new division within Cascades, Cascades Recovery+.


Tony Moucachen – President, Merlin Plastics

Bio not available.


Karl Tiemstra – Vice President, Can-Cell Industries Inc.

Bio not available.


Grant Harrington – President, West Can Marketing Corp.

Grant has over twenty years experience in the area of plastic recycling, including:

  • design and development of many products from recycled plastic
  • manufacturing of flow-moulded products
  • sales of flow-moulded end products in the USA and Canada
  • providing feedstock to plastic processors in Canada and the USA
  • development of collection systems for all streams of recyclables
  • involvement in APRA, RCA, Alberta CARE, and the Plastic Lumber Association


Mark Badger – Executive Vice President, Canada Fibers Ltd.

Mark Badger currently serves as Executive Vice President of Canada Fibers and President of the Urban Resource Group of Companies.  In these roles, he is engaged in expanding recovery and recycling of valuable materials through a highly-integrated network of companies.

After graduating from the Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario in 1980, Mr. Badger held executive positions with leading firms in the North American building products and chemical industries, including Royal Group Technologies, BF Goodrich Corporation and Georgia Gulf Corporation. While at Royal Group, Mr. Badger served in a series of senior executive roles, helping the Company to grow exponentially. In 2005, he was appointed by Royal’s Board of Directors to lead the process of soliciting bids for the NYSE and TSX listed company, which was sold to Georgia Gulf Corporation at a 43% premium to market.  Subsequent to the acquisition, Mr. Badger assisted the CEO of Georgia Gulf with integration, as well as investor development activities.

Following Georgia Gulf, Mr. Badger was appointed CEO of the Canadian Plastics Industry Association, leading the association to financial stability through strategic focus on value-added services, cost cutting and divestitures of non-core assets.  The association’s turnaround along with Mr. Badger’s contributions to innovation in the industry were recognized when he was appointed the Plastics Industry Leader of the Year in 2011.

During the period 2011 through 2013, Mr. Badger served as President and CEO of Switchable Solutions Inc., a start-up company commercializing a revolutionary clean technology invented at Queens University. Under Mr. Badger’s leadership, Switchable Solutions applied its proprietary clean technology to efficient, effective and environmentally friendly processing of oil sands.  Switchable Solutions attracted substantial investment capital and advanced its technology successfully to pilot stages through partnerships with oil producers. In 2013, Corporate Knights recognized Switchable Solutions as one of the leading emerging clean technology firms in Canada.

Mr. Badger graduated from the Institute of Corporate Directors’ Education Program in January 2012 and is an Institute of Corporate Directors Certified Director (ICD.D).  He has served on the boards of Royal Group, Switchable Solutions, CPSC, CPIA and The John Howard Society.

Mr. Badger received the Queen’s Jubilee Medal from the Governor General of Canada in 2002, in recognition of his leadership roles with charitable organizations.


Rob Rennie – Manager, Strategic Marketing at SUEZ Canada Waste Services Inc.

In 1989, following a seven year stint as a Floor Trader at the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSE), Rob joined Laidlaw Waste as a loader on a curbside collection vehicle in what he envisioned as a temporary career transition. Throughout the next thirteen years, Laidlaw became Waste Management of Canada and Rob advanced to direct supervision of route managers, dispatchers and collection vehicle operators throughout the Greater Toronto Area (GTA); responsibilities included curbside, front-end and roll-off services within the residential division and the Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (ICI) sectors.

In 2002, Rob accepted a position at the Region of Peel where his primary responsibilities were related to multi-million dollar service agreements that pertain primarily to the processing and marketing of recyclable materials. Through secondment to the Ontario Recycling Program Enhancement and Best Practices project and involvement with the Municipal Waste Association, Rob was able to garner a broad-based understanding of the industry from both a public and private company perspective.

In 2015, Rob moved back into the private sector when he joined the SUEZ team.  Initially his primary responsibilities related to the marketing of the City of Edmonton’s recyclable commodities with a focus on identifying opportunities through waste characterization studies. Rob also benefited from the opportunity to take an acting role as the operations manager at the MRF. He has increasingly taken on an ever-expanding role in Business Development related to the full service offerings available through SUEZ, including recycling and waste recovery, organics management and water/wastewater services.

With revenue over $20 Billion, SUEZ’s 90,000 employees are active in 70 countries across five continents bringing real world solutions to local authorities, industry, consumers and agriculture for the efficient and sustainable management of their resources.