Waste Management has broken ground on a new landfill gas to energy (LFGTE) facility in Ottawa, Ontario that will produce up to 6.4 megawatts of energy — enough to power more than 6,400 homes in the area. It is expected the facility will deliver electricity to Ontario’s transmission grid in the fall of 2008.
“Our facility will benefit the local environment and economy because it will help offset the need for non-renewable resources such as coal, natural gas and oil,” says Ross Wallace, Site Manager for Ottawa Waste Management Facility. “Waste Management is proud to be building this facility and combined with our existing waste management operations, demonstrates our company’s dedication to fulfilling the needs of the community. We think it’s a model that communities across Canada should consider.”
“As Member of Parliament for Ottawa West-Nepean and Minister of the Environment, today’s announcement is good news for our community,” says John Baird. “Our government recognizes the important effort of companies like Waste Management to help take action in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and to provide clean energy to Ottawa residents.”
The Ottawa facility will be the company’s second landfill gas to energy facility in Canada after the one in Ste. Sophie, Quebec, which delivers gas to the nearby Cascades paper mill. Waste Management also has plans to develop a similar energy project at its soon to be expanded Warwick landfill near Watford, Ontario as well as investigating the possibility of building another project at its landfill in Petrolia, Ontario.
The Ottawa LFGTE plant is part of Waste Management’s corporate initiative to build 60 new renewable energy facilities by 2012. In 2008, Waste Management plans to bring 10 LFGTE facilities on line and begin development of an additional 10 new sites. These will be in addition to the more than 100 that are in operation at its landfill sites and third party sites across North America. It is also a key component of the company’s environmental sustainability initiative to increase its waste-based energy production. Today, Waste Management creates enough energy for the equivalent of one million homes each year. By 2020, it expects to double that output, producing enough energy for the equivalent of more than 2 million homes.
A pioneer in LFGTE projects, Waste Management designed and operated its first facility in the United States more than 20 years ago. With 277 landfills, Waste Management is North America’s largest landfill operator and is in a unique position to expand waste-based renewable power generation across the country. The company is also exploring partnerships to expand its landfill gas-to-energy technology to other private and municipal landfills.
Landfill gas, produced when microorganisms break down organic material in the landfill, is comprised of approximately 50-60 per cent methane and 40-50 per cent carbon dioxide. At most landfills in North America, these greenhouse gases are simply burned off or “flared.” However, Waste Management sites with LFGTE facilities collect the methane and use it to fuel onsite engines or turbines, generating electricity to power surrounding homes and neighborhoods while creating a new revenue stream for the landfills. By building LFGTE facilities, Waste Management reduces greenhouse gases by offsetting the use of fossil fuel at the utility power plants.
About Waste Management
Waste Management, based in Houston, Texas, is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America. Our subsidiaries provide collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery, and disposal services. We are also a leading developer, operator and owner of waste-to-energy and landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. Our customers include residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers throughout North America.
More information about how Waste Management Thinks Green(R) can be found at www.wm.com/wm/thinkgreen