At the helm of the Emterra Group is Emmie Leung who, oversees the overall operations, performance against key indicators and growth of the group of companies. Emmie has a knack for finding opportunities and building on them.
She founded the original company, International Paper Industries (IPI) in 1976 in Vancouver, soon after graduating from the University of Manitoba with a BA in Commerce. She got the idea to start collecting used cardboard and other printed papers when she was walking around her Winnipeg neighbourhood one day. She noticed that businesses were discarding these “valuable resources.” She moved to Vancouver to be closer to core transportation hubs and from that point on, she has been a pioneer in the recycling and waste diversion industry in Canada.
IPI in its infancy was a one-person business – Emmie. She performed every job from driving the collection truck to sorting and baling materials, to operating the forklift to marketing and bookkeeping. When IPI started to expand into the municipal recycling services business, Emmie instigated the first ever ‘blue bag’ program to collect recyclables, a system that continues to be used in some municipalities throughout Canada. This early hands-on experience gave her insight into all aspects of the waste handling business, knowledge that she continues to draw upon today - as CEO of Emterra Group.
With the success of IPI as her launching platform, she expanded into Ontario in 1995 under the name Halton Recycling Ltd. and into Manitoba in 2003. Next she acquired a tire recycling operation, now Emterra Tire Recycling, and then a stale-dated and off-spec liquid disposal and consumer products destruction facility, Canadian Liquids Processors Limited.
Have a look at our corporate growth timeline.