View Full Version : City may investigate money making options for landfill

11-06-2008, 12:07 PM
The committee heard not one but two ways of making the most of the City's garbage.
Dan Vanderburg spoke to the committee regarding the installation of a waste-to-energy facility on a portion of the Lindsay/Ops landfill. It was the second time he has shared details about SENREQ Canada Inc. (Sustainable ENergy Recovery and Environmental Quality), which has developed, copyrighted and patented a gasification process that can transform any carbon-based solid, liquid or sludge - including municipal solid waste - into usable energy.
The SENREQ system recovers hidden energy values stored in wastes, while eliminating the liabilities associated with traditional disposal practices and reducing transportation costs.
The United States alone generates almost 250 million tons of municipal solid waste annually. At an average of 4500 Btu's per pound and more than 4.5 pounds generated per person per day, this waste stream represents the energy equivalent of 15 billion gallons of oil when exploited for its energy values. Globally, trillions of dollars are spent for energy, tens of billions for waste disposal and a similar amount to remediate the impact of energy generation and waste disposal on the environment.
Mr. Vanderburg hopes council will issue a request for proposals in order to provide his company the opportunity to bring the service to the City. At present, there are about 30 companies working toward similar projects. Mr. Vanderburg said the sites are best operated publicly, but the City could conceivably enter into a buy in situation.
Public works director Ken Becking said he is familiar with the concept and thermal dynamics, but noted he would like to gather more information on the process as well as take a "field trip" to one of SENREQ's sites - the company operates in Durham and York Regions.
Mayor Ric McGee noted this shouldn't be necessary, pointing out Mr. Vanderburg was "before council a year ago" and nothing, aside from a referral to the City's waste master plan, has taken place.
"This warrants more than just a receive," said Mayor McGee, adding the City needs to "stop talking and get doing" when it comes to waste management and opportunities to increase City revenues.
Later in the meeting, Mr. Becking brought forward a report authored by solid waste services supervisor Andy Boyd regarding potential provincial funding for landfill gas management.
In June, regulatory amendments to the Environmental Protection Act resulted in requirements for landfill gas collection and flaring, or use at operating, new or expanding landfill sites with a capacity larger than 1.5 million cubic metres. Because of these sizing parameters, landfill gas must be collected and managed at the Lindsay/Ops site.
In response to the amendments, the Province is providing roughly $10 million in funding support to municipalities for sites like Lindsay/Ops to support design and construction costs for facilities. Collection and flaring costs will be fully funded and, any further use, such as power generation, will be funded with the remainder of the funding support.
The City asked Golder Associates to prepare a landfill gas utilization assessment for the Lindsay/Ops site, which has been capped with a geo-membrane cover. Given the amount of landfill gas currently produced and estimated in the future, the report sees power generation as a viable choice.
Mr. Becking noted the Lindsay water treatment facility could benefit from a co-generation gassification project, with enough energy produced to "potentially, substantially run the water treatment plant." He added the project would have a "pretty decent return", with a five to seven-year payback to the municipality.
However, Mr. Becking noted the City would have to make a decision between mining and gassification at the landfill site, as it wouldn't be possible to do both at the same time.
In the end, a number of recommendations were made by committee.
In relation to Mr. Vanderburg's presentation, Mayor McGee asked for a staff report on the SENREQ proposal and that alternatives to landfills be made a priority. He cited the City has many landfill sites and it's crucial that "something else" be done with municipal waste, aside from "putting it in the ground."
The committee also supported Mr. Boyd's recommendation to apply for available funding offered by the Province for a gas collection project.
"We should at least look into it and see whether it could be successful," said Ward 9 Coun. Andy Luff.
The recommendation passed along with an amendment filed by Mayor McGee asking for a detailed report from staff on the matter.
Mayor McGee asked that waste management staff prepare a report and bump up efforts regarding the sale of scrap metal that is removed from the landfill after learning loaded vehicles departing the site are not consistently weighed. He said the City paid "good money" to have the scales installed and scrap metal is a good revenue source for the municipality.All recommendations made by the committee, however, must first be approved by council before moving forward.

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