New regulations requiring all large operating landfills to put in methane collection systems will significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions in Ontario.
When these new rules are combined with the systems already in place, Ontario landfills will be reducing greenhouse gas emissions by over four million tonnes per year. That’s like taking 200,000 cars off the road every year.
The new rules require operating landfills larger than 1.5 million cubic metres to have methane collection systems in place by 2010.
The methane produced at landfill sites is a potent greenhouse gas with a global warming potential 21 times that of carbon dioxide. The landfill owners can either burn off the methane, reducing its global warming potential by 95 per cent, or use it to generate electricity to sell to the grid.
The McGuinty government has earmarked about $10 million to help municipalities pay for some of the capital costs of a methane collection system. Those that qualify for funding will be generally smaller sites, those under three million cubic metres or with limited remaining capacity. Applications for funding must be received by the ministry by November 7, 2008.
“Capturing landfill gas has so many benefits — to our planet, our
environment and to local residents,” said Environment Minister John Gerretsen.
“Not only will it help us meet our climate change goals, it will improve local air quality. Landfill gas contains trace amounts of other compounds, such as hydrogen sulphide, which can cause odours or affect local air quality.”
“We want to congratulate the government for undertaking this important
climate change initiative,” said Walt Graziani, President of Integrated Gas Recovery Services (IGRS) of Cambridge Ontario. “IGRS, with our partners in the municipal and private sector have been utilizing landfill gas for years. We look forward to continuing our efforts to help protect the environment, as well as continuing to produce and sell renewable energy and emission credits from all of our Ontario facilities.”
View the amending regulations at www.ebr.gov.on.ca (No.010-3086).