It Doesn’t Stink – North America’s First Closed-Loop Waste Management System Opens
by Helena Tavares Kennedy (Biofuels Digest) In Canada, Surrey’s Biofuel Facility officially opened in the Port Kells industrial area in the British Columbia province. The $68 million facility is the first fully integrated closed-loop organic waste management system in North America. The facility converts curbside organic waste into renewable biofuel to fuel the City’s fleet of natural gas-powered waste collection and service vehicles. Under this closed loop system, waste collection trucks will literally be collecting their fuel source at curbside. Excess fuel will go to the new district energy system that heats and cools Surrey’s City Centre.
In fact, Surrey is the first municipality in North America to be running a 100% carbon neutral municipal waste collection fleet.
The Biofuel Facility will divert 115,000 tons of organic waste from the landfill, produce approximately 120,000 Gigajoules of renewable natural gas and produce approximately 45,000 tons of nutrient-rich compost annually. The City of Surrey collects 65,000 tons of organic waste per year but the processing capacity of the facility can meet a demand of 115,000 tons per year.
The facility uses a non-thermal anaerobic technology (AD) to process organic waste. The biogas that is naturally generated from this process is captured and upgraded onsite to create renewable natural gas (RNG), which is then injected directly into the local gas grid. The remaining organic matter is placed inside composting tunnels where nutrient-rich compost is produced. A portion of the compost produced will be used within the City’s parks and boulevards.
It begins with Surrey’s “Super Loopers” – what Surrey calls residents who divert and separate their organic waste from regular trash or recyclables headed for landfills or recycling plants.
While the Surrey Biofuel facility is owned by the city, it was established via a Public-Private Partnership. 25% of the cost of the facility was funded by the Government of Canada and the remaining 75% was funded by Renewi plc. Based in the UK, Renewi is 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.
The facility is trying to make more friends and help educate the community about their project, with an Education Centre and an outdoor interpretive compost garden that will be used for conducting school and group tours. The City of Surrey and Renewi said in their press release that they are committed to using the facility to increase awareness of responsible waste management and the science behind composting, anaerobic digestion and the generation of biofuel. READ MORE