Council Approves Energy Recovery Facility in Ontario

Peel Energy Recovery Centre designed to process 300,000 metric tons per year of residential garbage to produce energy and recyclable metals.

July 1, 2013
Waste Today Staff

Ontario’s Peel Regional Council approved the region’s plan to design, build, operate and maintain the Peel Energy Recovery Centre on June 27. The Region of Peel serves more than one million residents in the cities of Mississauga and Brampton and the town of Caledon, Ontario.

“The development of the Peel Energy Recovery Centre is a key component of the Region’s Long Term Waste Management Strategy, which aims to recover and effectively use resources from our waste stream so we can conserve natural resources,” remarked Councillor John Sanderson, chair of the Waste Management Committee. “The Peel Energy Recovery Centre is a responsible choice for managing Peel's residual waste.”

“In a survey conducted last fall (2012), residents told us they wanted the Region to work towards reducing waste generation and increasing resource recovery in a way that protects the environment,” explained Norm Lee, director of Waste Management for the Region of Peel. “The new energy recovery centre will enable us to safely and reliably recover valuable resources, such as energy and recyclable metals, which would otherwise be lost in a landfill.” The same survey showed that the majority of Peel’s residents supported the development of an energy-from-waste facility within Peel, over hauling Peel’s waste to an out-of-Region landfill.

Using an established energy-from-waste technology, the Peel Energy Recovery Centre will process 300,000 metric tons per year of Peel’s residential garbage to produce useable energy, such as steam or electricity and recover recyclable metals. It will allow the region to reduce the overall volume of waste going to landfill by up to 90 percent, decreasing its reliance on landfill disposal and its impact on the environment, according to the council. “Over its lifetime, the new Centre will reduce greenhouse emissions to as little as half the greenhouse gases that are currently released by hauling our garbage to an out-of-Region landfill.” remarked Lee.

To ensure that the Centre’s workers, surrounding area residents and the environment as a whole are protected, the Peel Energy Recovery Centre will use advanced technologies to control and monitor emissions. The region will also undertake a provincially regulated Environmental Screening Process to identify the potential environmental effects of this project and determine how best to address them, which will include conducting detailed studies on air quality, health, ground and surface water, traffic, noise, etc., the region says.

In 2012, the region disposed of over 250,000 metric tons of residential garbage, which remained after residents reduced, reused, recycled and composted their household waste. Even with planned diversion programs, such as biweekly garbage collection, enhanced recycling programs and the implementation of Extended Producer Responsibility initiatives, current waste and household growth projections show that when the new Centre opens in 2020, the Region will need to dispose of more than 270,000 metric tons of garbage per year; with as much as 400,000 tons per year over the facility’s 30-40 year lifespan.

In 2010, Council directed the Region to conduct a Long-term Waste Disposal Study (completed in 2011) to identify the preferred long-term waste disposal method for Peel. Taking into account Peel’s specific social, environmental and economic considerations, the Study identified the use of an established energy-from-waste technology along with landfill disposal as the preferred option for Peel.

The Regional Municipality of Peel was incorporated in 1974 on the principle that certain community and infrastructure services are most cost-effectively administered over a larger geographic area.