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Stakeholder Update – 04/22/2022

Mining Waste for Value

In 2015 I had the opportunity to participate in a project design to reclaim a minor metal from a high BTU Hazardous Waste Stream. At a high level, the project design was to recover, purify, densify, and package a technical grade catalyst. Converting a 3 MM gallon per year hazardous waste stream that was being used as a kiln fuel into a saleable product, valued at $7 – $10 M per year. The material we were reclaiming was only 3% of the waste stream as a constituent, yet it contained great value.   

One of our technology partners who also had vast experience in the mining industry said, “you don’t realize how much easier it is to reclaim this material from a waste stream as compared to the actual mining process where this material is found in the parts per million.” Incredible!  I would never have thought that something at such a small % could make such an impact. Think of it: Hazardous Waste Reduction, Natural resource preservation, turning a cost into a revenue and powering circular economy.  3%! 

This created the term for us, mining waste for value. At WTS we seek to take the perspective of waste as by-product. How can we collaborate to reclaim value and preserve natural resources? How do we take something “wasted” and return it into the supply chain? How do we find new alternative inputs? How do we take this new mindset and rethink waste? Even at 3%?  

We are releasing this month’s stakeholder communication on the 52nd anniversary of Earth Day. We pause to renew our commitment to sustainability. Let us not be daunted by the enormity of the sustainability challenge. Some of what we start will not be completed. Yet, while we are not obligated to complete the work, we are not free to abandon it. We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with you to increasingly benefit society, the economy and the environment. Even if it is just the 3%, it all matters.