The City of Toronto has announced its latest green initiative, in which plans outline a strategy enabling the conversion of waste into renewable energy. At the Dufferin Solid Waste Management Facility in North York, the City’s Solid Waste Management Services Division will begin installing new equipment, known as a Bio-methane Upgrading System, which will transform the biogas produced by green bin organic waste into renewable natural gas. The project, in partnership with Enbridge Gas Distribution Inc, supports the City's vision of using Toronto's organic waste to offset greenhouse gas emissions, by capitalizing on the opportunity to collect renewable energy during the organic waste treatment process. 

Location of the facility on Vanley Crescent in North York, image via Google Maps

The facility will collect the methane gas that is released when organic waste is broken down, then clean it to be used as traditional natural gas, and then power the trucks that collect the organic waste. Essentially, this closed-loop carbon neutral practice aims to ultimately power the fleet of Green Bin collection trucks by the waste they gather. 

Closed loop infographic, image via City of Toronto

With completion targeted for 2019, this sustainability initiative aligns itself with the municipal Long-Term Waste Management Strategy and TransformTO Climate Action Strategy. Renewable natural gas offers tremendous benefits in regard to greenhouse gas emissions: the methane collected would otherwise go directly into the atmosphere, but once injected into the natural gas pipeline, this cost-effective clean energy source can power vehicles, homes, and vehicles. 

Creating renewable energy from organic waste, image via Enbridge

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