The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has announced a $1.6 million investment for the construction of a methane gas recovery unit at the Robin Hood Bay landfill. The Landfill Gas Collecting and Flaring System (LGCFS) can potentially reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the site by 50,000 to 60,000 tonnes per year.
The Robin Hood Bay landfill emits approximately 130,000 tonnes of GHGs per year, representing approximately 1.2 per cent of the total greenhouse gases emitted in Newfoundland and Labrador. Organic matter that is placed in a landfill and buried decomposes without oxygen and produces significant amounts of methane gas. This gas is estimated to be 21 times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Studies have shown that, even 25 years after waste is buried, large quantities of methane gas are still produced. Through the LGCFS, methane will be captured and destroyed in a safe manner by using a flare. This will also help control odour and any other possible adverse environmental impacts. The potential also exists for the methane to be converted into electricity or a fuel for vehicles used at the site.
“The city is very pleased with the co-operation and support of the provincial government in our efforts to retrofit the Robin Hood Bay Landfill Site to meet environmental standards,” said Acting St. John’s Mayor Shannie Duff. “The contribution towards the completion of the methane collection and flaring system will enable the city to take a major step forward in the achievement of our environmental goals. It is the city’s intention, if quantities are sufficient, to convert the collected methane to electricity for sale to the grid, and preliminary reports on the available quantities are very positive.”
Funding for this project comes from the EcoAction Trust Fund that was announced in 2007 by the Federal Government. This $23 million fund is focused on technology or energy efficiency projects that provide real reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
In addition to the EcoAction Trust funding, the provincial government has announced $850,000 in Budget 2008 to fund climate change and energy efficiency initiatives. Included in this are grants to support organizations in their climate change outreach efforts; funding to update the Climate Change Action Plan; as well as funding for year one of a three-year, $2 million Green Fund to help support projects and feasibility studies that contribute to energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reductions.