Canadian Consulting Engineer

Surrey opens North America’s first closed-loop organic waste management system

March 12, 2018

The site will convert curbside organic waste into renewable biofuel to fuel the City’s fleet of natural gas powered waste collection and service vehicles.


(source: City of Surrey)

The City of Surrey has officially opened its $68 million biofuel facility in the Port Kells industrial area, the first fully integrated closed-loop organic waste management system in North America.

The site will convert curbside organic waste into renewable biofuel to fuel the City’s fleet of natural gas powered waste collection and service vehicles. Excess fuel will go to the new district energy system that heats and cools Surrey’s city centre.

“Surrey has established a new sustainability benchmark in Canada with a state of the art facility that converts organic waste into renewable energy,” said Mayor Linda Hepner. “The Biofuel Facility will be instrumental in reducing community-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by approximately 49,000 tonnes per year, which is the equivalent of taking over 10,000 cars off the road annually. This reduction in greenhouse gas emissions will also completely eliminate the City of Surrey’s corporate carbon footprint of 17,000 tonnes per year.”

The City owned Surrey Biofuel facility was established via a Public-Private Partnership (P3) alternative financing arrangement with 25% of the cost funded by the Government of Canada and the remaining 75% funded by UK-based Renewi plc., who was responsible for the design and build of the facility and will operate and maintain the facility on behalf of the City for a 25 year period.


Other firms involved in the project included Stantec Consulting Ltd., the contractor Smith Brothers & Wilson Ltd., and process design/construction by Waste Treatment Technologies BV from the Netherlands.

The Biofuel facility will divert 115,000 tonnes of organic waste from the landfill, produce approximately 120,000 Gigajoules of renewable natural gas and produce approximately 45,000 tonnes of nutrient-rich compost annually.

Organic waste delivered to the Biofuel Facility will be treated exclusively “in-vessel” meaning that 100% of the organic waste will be contained and processed inside the facility.  Integrated within the Biofuel Facility is a state-of-the-art odour mitigation technology that treats the waste odours. The end result is that odours are entirely contained within the facility.

The Biofuel facility is the recipient of the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) Envision Platinum award. The Envision rating system rates sustainable infrastructure across the full range of environmental, social, and economic impacts.  The Surrey Biofuel facility is the first waste sector infrastructure project in North America and only the third Canadian project overall to earn the prestigious Envision award for sustainability.

The facility also includes an education centre and an outdoor interpretive compost garden that will be used for conducting school and group tours.



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