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GFL works with Cheam First Nation to care for their traditional lands and water

A mutual respect for the land that we live on and a focus on caring for the environment provide the foundation for a meaningful collaboration between GFL and Cheam Enterprises Inc. (CEI).

“What makes the relationship between GFL and CEI special is that it is truly about working together to take care of and protect the (Cheam First Nation) lands,” said Blair Dueck, GFL’s senior account manager, Indigenous Engagement. “GFL respects and acknowledges the Cheam First Nation knowledge transfer that sustains their culture and traditions, and the stewardship of their land and water for future generations.”

In collaboration with CEI, GFL is providing environmental solutions for the collection, disposal and recycling of waste materials in and around the Cheam community that are being generated during the ongoing pipeline project.

The services GFL provides maximize opportunities for reuse, recycling and waste diversion of materials which help preserve Cheam lands and water.

Covering an area from Hope to Langley, British Columbia, GFL has treated over 8 million liters of wastewater, removed 250,000kg of contaminated soils, and collected over 35,000kg of garbage and various other waste materials along the right-of-way in Hope.

“A portion of these numbers reflect waste going to the landfill, but we work to keep as much waste as possible out of the landfill through waste diversion methods such as recycling,” said Gregory Zimmer, GFL sustainability adviser. “When we keep waste out of the landfill, we also reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions which helps to protect the environment.”

GFL collects and recycles oil, used oil filters, and plastic and aerosol containers that have been used by contractors, which helps to lessen the impact of these waste products on the environment.

For example, GFL calculated that from January 2021 to the end of June 2022, the amount of GHG emissions saved by the recycling of used oil, oil filters and plastic containers collected as part of this project is equivalent to heating 34 homes for a year, consuming 42,000 gallons of gasoline or growing 9,500 tree seedlings for 10 years.

GFL and CEI have worked together since August 2020 and Dueck cites “open communication at the very beginning between Cheam and GFL” as an important aspect of this successful partnership.

“It is by truly listening, understanding and working with Indigenous groups on caring for traditional lands that we are able to form meaningful and respectful economic partnerships,” Dueck said.

GFL looks forward to collaborating with CEI on future projects that will help promote a healthy community and preserve Cheam lands and water for future generations.

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