Founded in 1979, Stablex is a Canadian-based company focused on the treatment and disposal of inorganic hazardous waste. Operating since 1983 in Blainville, Québec, 25 kilometers north of Montreal, Stablex was acquired in 2010 by US Ecology, an American company that owns and operates non-hazardous and hazardous waste disposal facilities throughout the United States. Stablex and the Centre de Recherche Industrielle du Québec (CRIQ), an Innoventures Canada consortium member organization assisting Canadian companies in commercializing their research, have worked together since 2014.
“We selected CRIQ as a partner for this project because they specialize in research and development and are experts in the field of odour analysis.”
Tania Tzakova, Environmental Health and Safety Specialist, Stablex
Using a treatment technique unique to North America, Stablex chemically pre-treats and stabilizes waste to produce a non-leachable concrete-like material. This technique, coupled with a rigorous quality control system, ensures that the hazardous waste is treated in an environmentally friendly manner and allows Stablex to safely operate 300 meters from the surrounding community. Given the close proximity of the facility to the surrounding residential area, maintaining good community relations is essential for Stablex. However, over the past few years, community members in the surrounding neighbourhood have perceived odours that could be attributed to the Stablex operations.
In an effort to address the community’s concerns, among panoply of solutions to eliminate the potential odours, Stablex enlisted the assistance of CRIQ to participate in a collaborative project intended to identify the odorous compounds, isolate the stage in the treatment process during which the compounds are generated, and develop ways to eliminate or mitigate the compounds. Ultimately, the collaboration may result in a new method for neutralizing odorous air-born molecules.
At this stage in the project, CRIQ and Stablex have used the olfactory lab, and specifically the Gas Chromatography – Mass Spectrometry/Olfactometry (GC-MS/O) machine at CRIQ to successfully identify the odour-causing compound. At present, the team is working to identify when, during Stablex’s treatment process, the compound is generated.
As a State agency, CRIQ has provided authoritative input and objectivity to the collaboration, and throughout the project the credibility embodied by CRIQ has been instrumental in mitigating the community’s concerns. By engaging CRIQ, Stablex and its 150 employees will continue their environmental mission in harmony with the citizens of Blainville, Québec.
I have reviewed this document and release its content to Innoventures Canada and CRIQ for the purpose of impact reporting.
Eng. Environmental Health and Safety Specialist, Stablex