Binder Deconstruction Project

Bruce Power Binder Deconstruction ProjectAfter metal rings are out, slicing the plastic is next

…in partnership with the Grey Bruce Sustainability Network Inc. July 23, 2013

Problem Statement

Bruce Power has 1000 (actual 1497) used binders they wish to keep from going to the landfill. The challenge is to de-construct the binders in a safe and efficient fashion so that parts are reused or recycled at a reasonable cost and landfill disposal is minimized.

Binder Deconstruction (BD)

The binders in question can easily be broken into the 3 materials (vinyl, cardboard, steel rings) as there is no glue holding the vinyl to the cardboard and the steel rings can be simply pulled from the cardboard spine.

  • Louise Hutchinson, Senior Support Worker with Community Living, Walkerton & District has agreed to have her workers deconstruct the binders using necessary tools.
  • The Environmental Advisory Committee of the Municipality of Brockton has proposed and has had the approval from administration to use the MTO building for storage and deconstruction of binders (Hwy. 9  west side of Walkerton, north side of Hwy. 9)
  • Labour Cost associated with deconstruction activity will be minimum wage/ hour X unit cost of deconstruction X 1000 (actual 1497)
  • Cardboard can be reused as book binding stock via Durham bookbinding business
  • Steel  rings will be recycled
  • Vinyl material will be disposed in landfill at a cost of $100/Tonne

Project Management

GBSusNet will provide overall management for the Binder Deconstruction Project at a rate of $40/hour. Tasks include:

  • Project Planning and Research
  • Communication with project team and stakeholders
  • Co-ordination of project implementation
  • Report Writing, photo documentation and Evaluation
  • Sustainability Planning for ongoing BD Projects

 Original Budget

Item Amount Comments
Labour for Deconstruction $200.00 1000 @ $.20 each
Supplies $50.00 Knives, gloves
Landfill Disposal ?
Project Management $300.00 Payable to GBSusNet
Total $550.00


Bruce Power / GBSusNet
Binder Deconstruction Totals 1497 Binders/ 105 Bags
lbs Kg
Binder Components
Metal Rings 416.4 187.6
Cardboard 882.1 399
Vinyl Cover 519.3 235.5
Total Weight 1817.8 822.1
$ Value of metal at .07/lb $29.15
Vinyl Disposal Cost $2/bag x 16 $32.00
% volume reduction   82%
% reduction by weight   72%
Weight Diverted (metal, cardboard) 1298.5
% Diversion 0.72




Environmental Economic Social and Cultural Benefits  of Binder Deconstruction and Re-purposing

The Binder Deconstruction Project undertaken by Bruce Power in collaboration with the Grey-Bruce Sustainability Network, Walkerton and District Community Living and the Municipality of Brockton, clearly demonstrates an evolutionary shift in thinking and practice from waste to worth. This project speaks directly to four of the major indicators of communal sustainability, including environment, economy, social and culture.

Environment: The Binder Deconstruction Program has successfully diverted 72% by weight of the total mass of binders retired from Bruce Power from local landfills. This diversion is truly significant as landfill tipping fees represent a small portion of the total cost of waste disposal that will be borne by future generations.

Social and Economic: The Municipality of Brockton frequently utilizes the services of the Walkerton and District Community Living Organization to undertake a number of material recycling tasks. The addition of the Bruce Power Binder Deconstruction Project has provided additional employment opportunities for the workers in the Walkerton region. The model developed for the binder deconstruction in this project could readily be developed as a social enterprise and offered regionally to corporate entities, institutions and the public throughout Bruce-Grey Counties.

Cultural: The Binder Deconstruction Project continues to expand Community Living’s role as an integral part of Waste Diversion and Reuse Programming throughout the region.  The cardboard reclaimed from the binders has been distributed to a number of schools, summer camps and daycares. The children utilizing the cardboard will have an early introduction to the concept of reusing materials and rethinking waste. The reclaimed cardboard will be utilized in art projects that in some cases, may not have been possible if new material had to be purchased.


Win Win!!!:       The Bruce Power Binder Deconstruction Pilot Project clearly illustrates a new approach to the disposal of materials that have fulfilled their initial intended purpose. What was once considered costly waste should now be evaluated on the potential of communal benefits resulting from the reuse, repurposing and recycling of material. We must always bear in mind the fact that a sustainable future is truly the only future on which we can rely.

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