Monday, September 13, 2010

Dealing with our garbage

Metro Vancouver is in the process of adopting the Integrated Solid Waste and Resource Management Plan for our region. One part of the plan is waste-to-energy, but there are other things worth mentioning about the plan.

Right now around 50% of our waste is diverted from landfill which is one of the highest rates in North America. Under the plan, the diversion rate will increase to 70%. That means that zero waste from residential property will end up in landfill. The most exciting part of the plan is the introduction of regional composting. Right now the City of Vancouver and Township of Langley are piloting municipal composting and it will be great to see this rolled out in the whole region.

Waste-to-energy is also a part of the plan and it will allow for district heating and electrical generation. This is done in many parts of Europe and even in downtown Seattle. It will allow the productive use of methane that would otherwise just float up into the atmosphere. The best place for district heating would be in downtown Vancouver, so it will be interesting to see if Vancouver gets on board with this part of the solid waste management plan.

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