Solid Waste & Recycling


Ontario plasma waste treatment project gets green light

According to a government news release, Ontario's McGuinty government is encouraging new technology-based waste sol...

According to a government news release, Ontario’s McGuinty government is encouraging new technology-based waste solutions by approving an innovative pilot project that will generate energy from waste, Ottawa Centre MPP Richard Patten has announced on behalf of Environment Minister Laurel Broten.

“We need to find 21st century solutions for managing the waste we produce,” Patten said. “Many jurisdictions around the world have adopted innovative solutions for managing their waste. We need to do the same if we are to deal effectively with the waste our growing population will produce.”

Plasco Trail Road Inc. of Ottawa has been given the green light to construct and operate a pilot plasma gasification facility. The plasma gasification process will break down non-recyclable municipal waste that is destined for landfill to create a synthetic gas to power electricity generators.

Regulations have been put in place to clarify the standards for the pilot project and for the technology and to establish air emission limits. The company has agreed to go beyond certain provincial emission standards, including those for particulate matter (air-borne dust and other particles). The project will require continuous emission monitoring, stack testing and third party inspections.

Plasco will gasify up to 85 tonnes of Ottawa’s waste per day, producing 5.2 megawatts of electricity at a facility to be built at the closed Nepean landfill in Ottawa. Construction on the facility will begin as early as this summer.

In order to confirm the viability of the technology in a timely manner, the project will be allowed to operate for up to two years without an environmental assessment. If Plasco demonstrates that plasma gasification is environmentally and commercially viable, the company will have to carry out an environmental assessment in order to operate as a permanent facility.

“We’re very excited about this new, cutting-edge technology,” said Ottawa Mayor Bob Chiarelli. “I’m especially pleased to be working closely with the province and Plasco on positive solutions to our waste issues, not only for Ottawa but potentially right across the province. This is a better alternative to landfills and is the kind of vision that will make a practical difference for our residents.”

Energy Minister Dwight Duncan said the McGuinty government is committed to the development of new sources of electricity generation. “In Ontario, we are working hard to meet our energy needs in ways that are of benefit to the environment. The Plasco technology, if viable, will be good news for Ontario.”

“If this project proves sound, we will have found a way to effectively deal with waste leftover after recycling, while providing a new source of energy,” Patten said. Other government initiatives for a clean energy supply include:

For further information, contact MPP Richard Patten, Ottawa Centre constituency office, 613-722-6414 or Anne O’Hagan, minister’s office, 416-325-5809, or John Steele, communications branch, 416-314-6666.

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