Pending approval by Ontario’s environment ministry, council for the City of Ottawa have voted to approve a plan to use a waste-to-energy system for garbage disposal that uses a plasma torch technology..
The vote means that if Plasco Energy passes all the province’s regulatory approval hurdles, the company will pay for all costs to build, own and operate the new facility. Four hundred tonnes of garbage a day will be delivered directly from local collection trucks to the facility. The city would pay a tip fee of $60 per tonne of waste processed.
Plasco Energy currently operates a 75-tonne-per-day demonstration facility at the city’s Trail Road city landfill.
The company says that preliminary testing shows its demonstration plant is operating well below provincial emissions limits, but serious testing has only just begun. It’s estimated that it will take up to two years to get all the approvals for a new full-size plant.
Operation of the new commercial facility will require a Certificate of Approval from the environment ministry and building permits from the city. Ministry approval will be predicated on comprehensive operating data from the existing demonstration facility and will impose stringent legal limits for all emissions from the facility. These approvals are expected to take between six and twenty-four months to complete.
The facility is expected to be in operation eighteen months after construction begins.
If the Plasco system is approved and the plant is built, it’s estimated that it will cost about $125 million, all of which will be paid by the company.