Waste to Energy Pilot Project

We have known for some time that the way we manage waste, may not be the best way to manage waste. Landfills bury the problem, but they don’t solve the problem. Recycling, when done correctly, is an excellent alternative. However, the markets are no longer viable for many waste streams. Especially with our geological location. Shipping 5 hours to Edmonton, just to be consolidated and shipped further, is expensive and leaves quite a large carbon footprint. We have been searching for an alternative way to manage waste for several years and we feel that Micro Gasification meets most of our needs. The PRWMC Board has made the decision to proceed with a pilot project with Biomass Energy Techniques Inc to prove that their equipment can convert our waste to energy, it will work in our environment, it will meet all emission standards, eliminate the need to haul leachate out for disposal, drastically reduce the use of valuable landfill airspace and reduce our overall operating costs. The pilot project will be able to convert 8 Tonnes per day of waste that would normally go into our landfill and heat 3 of our large equipment shops with the energy. Phase 2, will be to purchase and install larger equipment that will convert 60 tonnes per day, our current daily average volume, and convert the waste to heat and electricity. The larger system will have ROC generators installed to produce electricity for our operations and to sell to the local electrical grid.

We will use the Micro-Gasification Process to harness the latent energy in waste and make it usable in the form of heat and electricity.

  • To recover energy from waste, we heat the material far past the point of combustion. At over 2000 degrees Fahrenheit, it gasifies. We use the energy from this gas to generate power.
  • Moisture if the form of leachate is required to be added to the waste for optimum efficiency. This will eliminate the costly practice of hauling large quantities of leachate for deep well disposal.
  • The gasification process involves no burning of waste, no visible emissions and no odour. It also eliminates the methane that would be produced by waste decomposing in a landfill – methane has twice the global warming potential of carbon dioxide.
  • After it’s been processed, there is nothing left of the waste material. Its energy is recovered and it has no mass, so there’s very little need for new landfill cells.

PRWMC will continue to follow the Waste Hierarchy Triangle and Reduce, Reuse and Recycle first, but when that’s not possible or just not economical, the forth “R”. Recover will be utilized in the form of Waste to Energy. This will help us to achieve our goal of 95% waste diversion.

Today, Ed Gugenheimer and Gabrielle Betts toured the Peace Regional Waste Management Company – PRWMC which has the first waste-to-energy pilot project in Alberta. Following the tour, they had the opportunity to present to the Mayors, Councillors, and leaders of the Town of Peace River and Northern Sunrise County region and answer their questions about Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR).