Another man’s treasure: Nova Scotia cleantech company expands into Eastern Ontario

Sustane facility
Sustane facility

Nova Scotia-based Sustane Technologies, which specializes in turning waste into recycled materials and high-value fuels, is looking to expand operations into McNab-Braeside in Renfrew County.

Sustane’s current facility in Chester, N.S. is designed to turn waste into green energy products such as biomass pellets, biofertilizer, synthetic diesel and recyclable metals and plastics. Sustane’s technology is built to redirect almost 90 per cent of garbage from a landfill.

McNab-Braeside is part of what Sustane’s co-founder and president Peter Vinall calls phase two for the company. To offset the costs of production and operate sustainably, Sustane needs around 70,000 tonnes of waste. That’s where Renfrew and neighbouring Lanark County come in.

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“Our proposition is that we build, own and operate the plant, so there’s no cost to the municipality,” Vinall said. “They send us their waste on a long-term contract with a fee comparable to a landfill and we handle it from there.”

Sustane would source trash not only from residences but also from restaurants, industrial zones and commercial spaces across Renfrew and Lanark counties.

Tom Peckett, mayor of McNab-Braeside, is on board with the project. “If you take the population from Renfrew County and Lanark County at approximately 164,000 people, 150,000 people will produce in the neighbourhood of 200 tonnes of garbage a day,” Peckett said. “This is moving forward and we’re confident we’ll be able to obtain the 200 tonnes a day, which is the minimum.”

Peckett has been in talks with Sustane for about two years. Now that plans are moving forward, Vinall said the company hopes to break ground on the new facility within the year.

“Now that the solid waste has been finalized and secured, we will further develop the project, go into the engineering phase, look into suitable locations and start to build the plant,” said Vinall.

Vinall said the new facility will create approximately 25 jobs, employing primarily local residents, for daily operations and that the construction phase will source local companies. 

“We might bring in a supervisor for training but it makes more sense to employ locally,” said Vinall. “They’ll be more loyal employees, that’s been our experience.”

Sustane is also engaging in conversations with communities in Western Canada.

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