On May 31, Waste Management along with partners Gaz Mtro and Cascades launched a successful biogas energy project that uses landfill gas to power Cascades’ fine paper plant in Saint-Jrme, Quebec.
For the past five months, waste materials in Waste Management’s Sainte-Sophie landfill have been converted to green biogas energy. Gaz Mtro feeds the biogas via a 13 km secure pipeline to the Cascades plant, where the biogas meets 75 per cent of the thermal energy required to power its paper production equipment.
"The success of this operation is the result of the close collaboration and exceptional know-how of our two partners, Gaz Mtro and Cascades," explained Dan Pio, president of Waste Management. "We’re looking to develop other landfill gas projects throughout Canada in the future."
"Ongoing improvement in areas of sustainable development and the environment lies at the heart of Cascades’ concerns. And this was a natural partnership because the technology developed by Intersan was a perfect fit with our management philosophy," asserted Denis Jean, President of Cascades — Fine Papers Group. "The total reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from our biogas capture, combustion and valorization activities equals the sustained efforts of 540,000 people meeting the Government of Canada’s One Tonne Challenge. And we’re proud to share those results with our partners."
"Gaz Mtro’s participation in this innovative project also made sense since our primary mandate is to distribute natural gas in Qubec. Our role is to provide efficiency, reliability and safety for everyone involved in this project and for the community that will reap its benefits," stated Simon Garneau, Sales and Market Development Director — Major Companies, Gaz Mtro. "Biogas valorization represents a huge step forward for Qubec and an even bigger step toward sustainable development. Gaz Mtro is proud to bring its support to this project and is actively working toward developing others of its kind."
Waste Management has played a leading role in developing bioreactor technology which accelerates the decomposition of organic waste by increasing the moisture content in landfills that also creates methane gas that can used to generate clean, reliable and renewable energy. When a landfill uses bioreactor techniques, its waste compacts more quickly and its capacity can increase by 15 percent or more. As a result, the existing landfill space is used more efficiently and there is less need to expand in the future. Another benefit is that the landfill generates gas faster, allowing for better emissions control and more efficient gas-to-energy use.
Landfill gas is produced by the natural breakdown of waste in landfills. The gas, which would otherwise be wasted, has become a readily available renewable energy source, one that can be either used directly for industrial purposes or sold to gas-to-energy plants to fuel generators that in turn produce electricity.
Regulatory agencies have endorsed landfill gas as an environmentally friendly resource that offsets the need for non-renewable resources like coal and oil. In fact, landfill gas is the only renewable energy source that, when used, directly prevents atmospheric pollution.
Waste Management has been developing landfill gas-to-energy projects for more than 15 years. The company currently supplies landfill gas to nearly 100 projects in North America. The over 60 gas to electricity projects provide more than 200 megawatts of energy, enough to power 215,000 homes. Additionally, the nearly 40 projects that sell landfill gas as a fuel to industrial users replace over two million barrels of oil per year. Over the years, Waste Management’s commitment to capturing and using landfill gas has helped reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its landfills by 50 percent.
Largely because of the gas recovery projects, Waste Management has become one of the largest private holders of greenhouse gas emission reduction credits in North America. In fact, the company is the founding member of the Chicago Climate Exchange that promotes the trading of greenhouse gas emission credits, which are earned by companies who limit or eliminate harmful CO2 emissions.
Waste Management is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management services in Canada. The company offers advanced residential, commercial and industrial collection, recycling and disposal services throughout the country. It employs over 3,400 people at 116 operating units in 8 provinces, and serves 4.5 million residential customers as well as 170,000 industrial and commercial customers. Waste Management of Canada owns and/or operates 20 recycling recovery facilities and 18 landfills.
Gaz Mtro is a leading Qubec energy firm and one of Canada’s largest natural gas distributors. Gaz Mtro serves about 157,000 customers in Qubec through an underground pipeline network of some 10,000 km. One of its subsidiaries, Vermont Gas System, serves another 36,000 customers. Gaz Mtro also owns significant investment interests in two natural gas transportation businesses (TQM and Portland Natural Gas Transmission System) and in a business specializing in underground natural gas storage facilities (Intragaz). Gaz Mtro also sells goods and services through various companies in the energy (Gaz Mtropolitan Plus Group) and fibre optic fields (VDN Cable), and provides diagnostic and rehabilitation services for drinking water and waste water infrastructures (Aqua Data and Aqua-Rehab).
Cascades Fine Papers Group is a Canadian leader in fine paper manufacturing which produces, converts, and markets packaging products, fine papers and tissue papers which are mostly made from recycled fibres. Boasting the widest range of Canadian-made recycled alkaline papers, Cascades lies at the forefront of the recycled paper market.
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