Innovation in Environmental Services

Inland Technologies

Besides security, maintenance, and air traffic control, other activities include the collection of wastewater, de-icing, and recycling used glycol from the solvents of chemicals used to de-ice planes.

Companies such as Inland Technologies are the organizations that perform these types of behind-the-scenes operations. We spoke with company President Roger Langille, who shared some of Inland Technologies’ accomplishments and what the future holds for this dynamic company.

Inland Technologies has long been an innovator in the environmental services industry. Headquartered in Truro, Nova Scotia, Inland Technologies was launched in 1980, beginning its life as a recycler of used oil. The company has since transitioned and evolved into one of the premier full-service environmental compliance specialists in North America with plans to expand further in the future.

Inland Technologies provides a number of services for airports throughout North America and Europe. Services include recycling glycol and aviation ground services including aircraft de-icing, snow removal, and runway rubber removal. The collection and recycling of aircraft de-icing fluid has become the core business of Inland Technologies.

The company now has de-icing services at 20 civilian and military airports throughout Canada, the United States, and Europe. Clients include Halifax International Airport, Denver International Airport, and Washington Dulles International Airport. In addition, Inland Technologies recently commissioned a pilot operation at London’s Heathrow Airport that includes airside collection and processing from an effluent lagoon. At its Halifax Airport location, Inland owns de-icing vehicles and also provides in-house training simulators for crews to gain experience and practice.

Inland Technologies’ services at airports can be quite extensive. For example, at Denver International Airport, one of the busiest airports in the world, the company operates a de-icing recycling service as well as a distillation plant that treats distilled water from the recycling process through reverse osmosis. Operations at DIA began in 2004 and Inland’s facilities have since collected upwards of 5 million gallons per year, 4.5 million of which have been successfully reused. Total effluent processed at DIA since Inland started its operations there has been at least 40 million gallons.

Overall, Inland Technologies has managed over 1.2 billion litres of effluent as well as recycling 700 million litres of effluent.

Mr. Langille explains that Inland’s commitment to cost savings and innovation has spurred the development of the company’s own equipment for de-icing fluid. “Inland is focused on the finished product, from the recycled glycol to building more processing equipment. We’ve even developed vacuum trucks [The Glyvac™ Glycol Recovery Vehicle] to be used on-site.”

The company’s in-house designed equipment was created to support glycol recycling, and the business also owns and operates filtration and reverse osmosis systems.

Other products include the Starcevic Distillation System, which recycles used glycol on location, typically in airports. The GlycolGuard Drain Block was designed with vendor / customer input to prevent runoff during de-icing operations. Another drain block, known as The Guard can be used not only for airports, but for tank farms and refineries.

Inland’s offering extends beyond products; the company is also able to offer clients comprehensive maintenance and management services. These include supporting airport environmental compliance including lagoon management; liaising with public treatment plants; testing and compliance management; and managing equipment and systems such as anaerobic digesters and engineered wetlands.

In addition to its airport services, Inland Technologies also provides general waste management services. For example, Inland works in the offshore natural gas production sector to reclaim and reuse the mono-ethylene glycol that is used in offshore gas production lines. The company also treats produced waters for reuse or disposal. The company’s waste management operations include industrial wastewater treatment, site remediation of soil impacted by contaminants such as hydrocarbon, and recycling waste oil and hazardous waste materials.

Mr. Langille cites the relationships and experience of people who work for Inland Companies as a formula for its success. “We’ve had very little staff turnover,” he says. “Many of our managers have been working for Inland Companies for over a decade.”

Mr. Langille also takes pride in the fact that many of the company’s contracts are renewed in spite of the fluctuations of the aviation industry and how the cyclical nature of it can affect airport operations. “We’ve developed good relationships with our clients and vendors, and our contracts and bids have been renewed and extended due to our relationships with our customers and the services we provide,” he explains. “Our ability to be flexible and adaptable has given Inland Technologies an advantage.”

He describes the services that Inland Technologies provides as “complicated and seen as a necessary evil by some,” due to the nature of the work. “There are many startups and operators who believe that this type of work is simple, fail to get the job done and give the overall industry a bad name.

“One of the reasons Inland has been successful,” he continues, “is because we understand our job is to provide a service and make the customer happy, not just process material.”

In spite of the changes and challenges the industry has experienced, Mr. Langille sees a bright future for Inland Technologies. Future plans include working directly with airlines as well as expanding to more airports throughout the world.

“We started out very small in this business, but we continue to grow in spite of being governed by regulations and guidelines, which does affect the growth of business,” Mr. Langille says. “But we have and will continue to grow.”

July 16, 2018, 6:53 AM EDT

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