Our Roots

Emterra’s roots extend back to Vancouver in 1976, where founder and CEO Emmie Leung first established International Paper Industries (IPI) to collect cardboard and other waste paper from commercial operations. Drawing on her strong entrepreneurial energy, Emmie tackled every job – driver, collector, baler, shipper, bookkeeper, along with everything in between, learning first hand the grassroots operation of handling resource materials.

As waste diversion and recycling gained momentum in British Columbia in the 1990s, IPI expanded and thrived, offering new and better services to a broader range of clients.  

In the ‘90s, IPI grew beyond BC, establishing an offshoot called Halton Recycling Ltd. in Ontario.  In 2003, IPI started the company’s first single stream MRF in Manitoba.  Both of these waste management companies, along with the original IPI in BC were brought together under the new name, Emterra Environmental, in 2008. 


  • 1976 - Emmie started IPI collecting cardboard and newspaper in a panel truck.
  • 1982 - Emterra’s first material recovery facility opens in Surrey, British Columbia. This facility is still in operation today.
  • 1995 - The Ontario operation began under the name of Halton Recycling Ltd.
  • 2003 - IPI expanded into Manitoba and installed the province's first single stream recycling processing system in the Winnipeg facility.
  • 2004 - Canadian Liquids Processors Limited joins Emterra Group, specializing in product destruction for sugar- and alcohol-based liquids converting these into ethanol.
  • 2005 - HRL opened a tire recycling plant, “Canadian Eco Rubber Ltd.,” in Brampton, Ontario and started collecting and processing used and scrap tires from across the province.
  • 2007 - A new name and brand, Emterra Group, was established, designating IPI and HRL as Emterra Environmental and renaming Canadian Eco Rubber as Emterra Tire Recycling.
  • 2008 - Emterra Environmental installed a new single stream recycling processing system at the Burlington, Ontario plant to process recyclables from municipal and commercial sectors.
  • 2009 - Installed a new single stream recycling processing system at the Surrey plant in BC to process recyclables from municipal and commercial sectors – the first of its kind in the province.
  • 2009 - Emterra became the only waste management company in Canada with three single stream recycling material recovery facilities. 
  • 2011 - Emterra's fleet of trucks serving Niagara Region started operating on biodiesel.
  • 2011 - Emterra added the first compressed natural gas (CNG) truck to its fleet serving the City of Surrey, BC.
  • 2012 - Emterra launched our first large-scale CNG fleet in Winnipeg - the largest cold weather CNG fleet in North America.
  • 2012 - Emterra expanded into Michigan, USA through the acquisition of Richfield Management, L.L.C.. Emterra Environmental USA and sister company Huron Landfill were born.
  • 2013 – Emterra’s opens the latest and most advanced single stream recycling facility in Regina, Saskatchewan.