In Canada, Metro Vancouver has discontinued its current waste to energy procurement program, citing uncertainty around future waste volumes
The development of new waste to energy capacity is a part of Metro Vancouver's provincially approved Integrated Solid Waste and Resource Management Plan. However, as the political which governs provincial legislation, Metro Vancouver said that while it favours waste to energy for final disposal, it requires significant upfront investment.
"Metro Vancouver remains committed to waste to energy as the most sustainable technology solution for deriving benefits from residual waste after all efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle," explained Greg Moore, Chair of Metro Vancouver.
"Given our collective achievement in recycling and waste reduction, the timeline for requiring additional capacity has been pushed forward by several years, enabling us to scale-up over time based on a growing population and predictable waste volumes," he continued.
Metro Vancouver said that it has so far invested in enhancements to its Burnaby-based waste to energy facility, which has been operational for more than 25 years, with no discernible air quality impacts. Over the next five years, it said an additional $30 million will be invested in capacity, technology and further emissions control upgrades.
According to Metro Vancouver, both internal and third-party analyses have consistently shown that waste to energy is the least expensive and most environmentally sustainable option for managing residual waste over the life of a facility.
"The challenge with new waste to energy is that it requires a significant up front capital investment as well as predictable waste flow," said Malcolm Brodie, Chair of Metro Vancouver's Zero Waste Committee.
"Metro remains committed to continued progress towards Zero Waste as outlined in the Integrated Solid Waste and Resource Management Plan with the appropriate management of residuals,” he concluded.
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