Putting Waste to Work: Converting Landfill Waste to Energy Across Canada
It’s estimated that Canadian landfills can produce enough Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) to supply energy to 400,000 homes a year.
Enbridge, Walker Industries and Comcor Environmental are looking to unlock this potential—and put some of that waste to work.
Today, the three companies announced a partnership to jointly develop RNG projects across Canada by finding commercially viable solutions at landfills ready for development.
The carbon-neutral RNG that’s created will be injected into local natural gas distribution networks across Canada, reducing the overall carbon emission of the gas supply used to heat homes, power businesses and fuel vehicle fleets.
“Renewable natural gas is a low-carbon fuel that will help us get to net-zero,” says Seamus O’Regan, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources. “Companies like Enbridge are working to lower emissions, create jobs, and develop new opportunities to transform landfill waste into low-emitting energy.”
Adds Cynthia Hansen, Enbridge’s Executive Vice President and President of Gas Distribution and Storage: “RNG presents a tremendous opportunity to provide affordable, reliable and low-carbon fuel for Canada’s increasing energy needs, leveraging our existing energy system and stimulating economic growth.”
Last October, the partnership broke ground on its first landfill RNG project in Niagara Falls—which, at $42 million, is the largest RNG plant in Ontario, and is expected to enter service in 2022. Several additional projects are in the works.
“The Niagara RNG facility project will generate enough clean energy to heat 8,750 homes and reduce GHG emissions by 48,000 tonnes per year,” says Ms. Hansen. “This is just one example of how Enbridge is connecting consumers to renewables sources of energy. Together we’re leading the way to a green energy future.”
It’s estimated that Canada has more than 10,000 landfill sites collectively generating about 30 Megatonnes (MT) of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) every year—or about 20% of the country’s methane emissions. Only about a third of those emissions are captured and utilized; harnessing this underutilized resource could divert as much as 20 Mt of CO2e—that’s about 850 million trash bags of organic material—from landfills each year.
“We are excited to be partnering with leading companies like Comcor Environmental and Enbridge in innovative technologies to provide resource recovery solutions,” says Geordie Walker, CEO of Walker Industries. “By converting waste into a clean energy resource, we are able to build a sustainable future. This partnership provides significant benefits to our environment while stimulating the local economy with jobs.”
Remarks Walter Graziani, President of Comcor Environmental: “The production of RNG from landfill gas and its use in existing energy infrastructure is a pathway towards greenhouse gas reductions and a greener energy future in Canada. Comcor Environmental is proud to partner with Walker Industries and Enbridge to make this first-of-its-kind partnership a reality. We look forward to helping Canada meets its climate change goals through RNG project development across the country.”