Every year 1,017,000 tonnes of solid waste is collected in Ottawa (approximately 330,000 residential and 697,000 commercial and IC&I) — an amount that will grow as our city continues to grow. The good news is that we are recycling and composting more than ever. The bad news is that everything we do not recycle or compost continues to be dumped in nearby landfills.
There is a better, cleaner, solution.
The Partnership for a Zero-Waste Ottawa is a joint project between the City of Ottawa and Plasco Energy Group. With the City of Ottawa providing the waste and the location, Plasco is operating a state-of-the-art commercial-scale demonstration facility at the Trail Road landfill.
Approximately $270 million in capital has been raised and invested in Plasco since 2005. Public investment includes $9.5 million in funding from Sustainable Development Technologies Canada (SDTC) and a $4 million loan from the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation.
Household waste collected by the City is delivered to the plant, including up to 8% non-recyclable plastics otherwise destined for landfill.
The system to convert the waste to synthetic gas is sealed, with no emissions to the atmosphere. The exhaust from these engines are closely monitored to confirm that these exhausts contain emissions that are within the tight standards set by the Provincial Regulations governing the operation, which are more stringent than standards typically applied in Ontario.
The environmental benefits associated with the technology are great. Not only does the Plasco Conversion System displace dirty electricity produced from coal, it diverts the waste it processes from landfill—so that waste will no longer pollute our land, air and water. Air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions will be significantly better than the alternative of continued landfilling and energy generation from coal, or even natural gas.
For more information about the environmental performance and limits placed on the facility please visit the Environmental Performance section.
Plasco Energy Group is assuming all associated risk in building the evaluation facility, guaranteeing environmental performance and removing the facility if the evaluation is not a success. The City of Ottawa will provide the site, the waste and a $40 per tonne tipping fee—about the same as it costs the City to dump waste at the City owned landfill.