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Sustainable Best Practices and Greenhouse Gas Emissions at Canada’s Landfills: Results from the National Survey Rathan Bonam and Dr. Shirley Thompson Swana.

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Presentation on theme: "Sustainable Best Practices and Greenhouse Gas Emissions at Canada’s Landfills: Results from the National Survey Rathan Bonam and Dr. Shirley Thompson Swana."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sustainable Best Practices and Greenhouse Gas Emissions at Canada’s Landfills: Results from the National Survey Rathan Bonam and Dr. Shirley Thompson Swana Presentation, Edmontion, May 2008 Natural Resources Institute University of Manitoba

2 Outline Background Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) definition Method: Survey Survey Results  Year 2005  Waste Composition  Landfill Emissions  Diversion  Provincial Data  Waste Trends  Management Practices

3 Background: Landfills There are over 10,000 landfills in Canada including dumps  Approximately 200 major landfills Landfills contribute ~20-90 Tg/yr (10-19%) of total anthropogenic methane emissions 95% of the waste disposed ends up in landfills because Canada does not rely much on incineration for volume reduction (Statistics Canada, 2005).

4 Municipal Solid Waste MSW is the unwanted material produced through human activity that is managed at disposal, recycling and composting facilities Includes wastes from the residential, commercial, and institutional sectors as well as construction and demolition wastes

5 Method: Survey A ten page quantitative survey questionnaire that included all solid waste disposal data queries for landfills was prepared. A database with all the major landfills contact information was developed by contacting each province’s Ministry of Environment. In 1998, there were approximately 800 active landfills in Canada receiving just less than 21 Mt of solid waste (Environment Canada, 2001).

6 Method: Survey A survey was mailed, ed, faxed and/or couriered in conjunction with Environment Canada, to determine:  waste composition,  waste management practices  diversion programs  landfill gas generation and use The survey was followed up at regular intervals after the initial call/ to those who could not respond. Surveyed 300 landfills from September 2006 to April landfills responded (43% response rate). 15% of the 130 landfills are privately owned.

7 Results: Provincial Participation 7 provinces participated in the landfill survey Province Closed Active Total British Columbia Alberta Quebec Ontario New Brunswick PEI Nova Scotia

8 Results for year 2005 Waste generated (disposed + diverted) is 13.7 million tonnes 12 million tonnes of Waste disposed at 97 active landfills All the 97 active landfills across the seven provinces have a landfill capacity of 541 million tonnes and the current waste in all these landfills is 224 million tonnes. Waste generation per-capita is 2.32 kg/person/day (Bonam and Thompson, 2007), compared to 2.66 kg/person/day (Statistics Canada, 2005)

9 Results for year % of our waste that goes to landfills is residential, 30% is IC&I, 9% C&D and 6% is other waste. Average density of waste range of 125 to 1300 kg/cubic meter Average depth of landfill is 15 meters, deepest 50 meters The overall quantity of waste disposal has increased by 8% between 2003 and % of landfills closing down by 2010.

10 Results: Waste composition Waste composition data was provided by four out of the seven provinces (17 landfills out of 97) % of waste is organic (average 65% across Canada) ProvincePaper & textiles (%) Garden and non-food waste (%) Food waste (%) Wood (%) Recyclables (%) Other (%) AB BC ON QC

11 Landfill Gas related to Diversion Methane has a GWP of 23 times that of carbon dioxide Landfill gas consists of approximately 50% methane and 50% carbon dioxide  Trace components include sulfur compounds and volatile organic compounds Methanogens degrade organic matter, producing methane  Paper waste  Garden waste  Food waste  Wood waste

12 Landfill Gas related to Diversion GHG emissions from 97 active and 33 closed landfills  In 2005 methane emissions are 757 kt  In 2004 methane emissions are 735 kt  In 2003 methane emissions are 715 kt 52 recovery projects in Canada (30 active and 22 closed) Of the 757 kt of methane 318 kt (i.e. 42%) was captured in % of landfills that capture use it for energy, remainder flare 67.6 MW of electricity is produced 2,118,920 million BTU of heat is generated

13 Characteristics of LFG projects by Province ProvinceNo. of LFG projects Active area (ha) Refuse buried (tonnes) Average Depth (m) Average density (Kg/m3) LFG flared (tonnes/yr) LFG utilized (tonnes/yr) NS21701,520, ,3910 QC ,315, ,08656,493 ON ,234, ,17583,715 AB ,674, BC ,898, ,52014,652 NB05013,287, PEI ,

14 Findings on Diversion British Columbia (29%) and Nova Scotia (22%) have highest diversion rates Otter Lake landfill, Halifax, Nova Scotia - $115.00/tonne disposal fee diverted 30% of its total waste (2005) City of Orillia landfill, Orillia, Ontario - $ /tonne disposal fee diverted 35% of its total waste (2005) Higher disposal fees has prompted higher % of waste diversion

15 Diversion in % of the total waste generated went to landfills 12% is diverted (1.7 million tonnes) 6.1% is composted (839,335 tonnes), saving 7.3 kt of methane emissions 5.9 % is recycled (804,975 tonnes), saving 100 kt of methane emissions Diversion is less then 1% at most private landfills

16 Waste Diverted versus Methane Emissions (based on savings from producing virgin materials versus recycled and composting)

17 Waste diversion versus Disposal fees

18 Provincial Data ProvinceAverage Diameter of Catchment area (km) Total Waste disposed in 2005 (tonnes) Total GHG emissions in 2005 (kt) Current Waste (tonnes) Waste Capacity (tonnes) Average Density (kg/m3) Average Disposal Fees ($) % Waste diverted AB801,443, ,674,427102,054, BC951,287, ,898,00053,800, NB ,44773,287,84922,775, NS93 275,32471,520,69910,045, ON883,911, ,234,313155,156, PEI125 33, ,400371, QC1004,821, ,315,590196,313,

19 Identifying Trends: Waste variables (log) for Alberta

20 Identifying Trends: Waste variables (log) for British Columbia

21 Identifying Trends: Waste variables (log) for New Brunswick

22 Identifying Trends: Waste variables (log) for Nova Scotia

23 Identifying Trends: Waste variables (log) for Ontario

24 Identifying Trends: Waste variables (log) for Quebec

25 Results: GHG Emissions “Density” and “disposal fees” have no significant effect on the GHG emissions because of the historical waste (current waste in place). For every hectare increase in landfill area, a 0.81 tonnes increase in GHG emissions can be predicted

26 Results: Disposal fee versus Density of Waste Landfill space = $, recognizing it has value

27 Background: Diversion Issues Composting  Most use it as a temporary, daily and final cover  New Brunswick has plans to promote backyard composting Recycling  Transportation is a main issue (high transportation costs with low volumes)  Landfills serving rural communities have limited business opportunities Funding is one of the main constraints that is limiting waste diversion activities. Not enough methane is generated in order to make it feasible to set up and operate LFG capture systems

28 Current Waste Management Practices Landfill practices based on the survey  150 mm (~ 6”) of sandy soil/crushed C&D product with gravel is used as daily cover on the working face of the landfill  Daily Cover is easier to apply if waste is properly compacted  Daily cover is used to minimize dust, blown litter and odors  Most landfills use 300 mm (12”) to 500 mm of intermediate cover  Final cover composed of 1000 mm (1 meter) clay, 100 mm of topsoil and suitable vegetation for irrigation is in practice

29 Landfill practices based on the survey  75 % of the active landfills only collect leachate and most of them have a perimeter collection system  Less then 20% of the landfills re-circulate the leachate collected  90% of the landfills compact their waste daily with a CAT 826 compactor, which weighs 82,000 lbs.  90% of the landfills have no waste diversion activities in mind for implementation within the nest five years Current Waste Management Practices

30 References Bonam, Rathan and Thompson, Shirley. (2007). Results of Environment Canada Survey. Environment Canada: Ottawa. Environment Canada, Information on Active landfills. (17 July 2006). Statistics Canada, “Human Activity and the Environment”. Catalogue No XIE. (15 June 2006) Thompson et al., “Recommendations for Improving the Canadian Methane Generation Model for Landfills”, Environment Canada.

31 Thank you! Questions? Our regards to all the landfill managers who made this survey possible


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