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Metro Vancouver goes for waste-to-energy plant

Despite opposition for those opposed to incineration of any kind, Metro Vancouver has approved a new Integrate...


Despite opposition for those opposed to incineration of any kind, Metro Vancouver has approved a new Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan that includes a waste-to-energy component.
Metro Vancouver Board Chair Lois Jackson said in making the announcement July 30, “The decision to adopt waste-to-energy was as the preferred disposal option was more controversial, but in the end, the science was clear — from an economic, environmental and social perspective …”
AECOM prepared a report that was used in preparing the new plan. They studied options such as waste to energy, land filling, pretreatment of wastes before disposal, and a combination of all three.
Chair Jackson says, “Even with a shift in emphasis towards reduction and recycling, all our projections tell us we will still have upwards of a million tonnes of waste to deal with each year, and so we commissioned an independent analysis of potential disposal options. The clear winner, when we looked at lifecycle costs, air quality impacts, and greenhouse gas issues was additional Waste-to-Energy capacity.”
The region’s goal, however, is first to reduce per capita generation of waste and achieve 70% diversion of waste through recycling by 2015. Its current diversion rate is 55% (the Canadian average is 22%).
Once the province gives its environmental approvals, Metro Vancouver will issue a request for proposals for technologies and siting of waste to energy facilities.
Metro Vancouver already has one waste-to-energy plant, in Burnaby, and the new plan calls for this and an existing landfill in Delta to continue operating.
Local groups opposed to any new incineration include the Wilderness Committee.