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Sustainable Best Practices and Greenhouse Gas Emissions at Canadas Landfills: Results from the National Survey

Rathan Bonam and Dr. Shirley Thompson Swana Presentation, Edmontion, May 2008 Natural Resources Institute University of Manitoba

Outline
Background Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) definition Method: Survey Survey Results
Year 2005 Waste Composition Landfill Emissions Diversion Provincial Data Waste Trends Management Practices

Background: Landfills
There are over 10,000 landfills in Canada including dumps Approximately 200 major landfills Landfills contribute ~20-90 Tg/yr (10-19%) of total anthropogenic methane emissions 95% of the waste disposed ends up in landfills because Canada does not rely much on incineration for volume reduction (Statistics Canada, 2005).

Municipal Solid Waste


MSW is the unwanted material produced through human activity that is managed at disposal, recycling and composting facilities Includes wastes from the residential, commercial, and institutional sectors as well as construction and demolition wastes

Method: Survey
A ten page quantitative survey questionnaire that included all solid waste disposal data queries for landfills was prepared. A database with all the major landfills contact information was developed by contacting each provinces Ministry of Environment. In 1998, there were approximately 800 active landfills in Canada receiving just less than 21 Mt of solid waste (Environment Canada, 2001).

Method: Survey
A survey was mailed, e-mailed, faxed and/or couriered in conjunction with Environment Canada, to determine:
waste composition, waste management practices diversion programs landfill gas generation and use The survey was followed up at regular intervals after the initial call/email to those who could not respond. Surveyed 300 landfills from September 2006 to April 2007. 130 landfills responded (43% response rate). 15% of the 130 landfills are privately owned.

Results: Provincial Participation


7 provinces participated in the landfill survey
Province British Columbia Alberta Quebec Ontario New Brunswick PEI Nova Scotia Closed 9 0 3 20 0 0 1 33 Active 6 30 15 34 5 1 6 97 Total 15 30 18 54 5 1 7 130

Results for year 2005


Waste generated (disposed + diverted) is 13.7 million tonnes 12 million tonnes of Waste disposed at 97 active landfills All the 97 active landfills across the seven provinces have a landfill capacity of 541 million tonnes and the current waste in all these landfills is 224 million tonnes. Waste generation per-capita is 2.32 kg/person/day (Bonam and Thompson, 2007), compared to 2.66 kg/person/day (Statistics Canada, 2005)

Results for year 2005


55% of our waste that goes to landfills is residential, 30% is IC&I, 9% C&D and 6% is other waste. Average density of waste 700-900 range of 125 to 1300 kg/cubic meter Average depth of landfill is 15 meters, deepest 50 meters The overall quantity of waste disposal has increased by 8% between 2003 and 2005. 30% of landfills closing down by 2010.

Results: Waste composition


Waste composition data was provided by four out of the seven provinces (17 landfills out of 97). 41-100% of waste is organic (average 65% across Canada)
Province Paper & textiles (%) Garden and non-food waste (%) Food waste (%) Wood (%) Recyclables (%) Other (%)

AB

24 24 17 20

15 18 6 13

14 16.5 31 22

10 7 1.5 9

7 8.5 15.5 8

30 26 29 28

BC

ON

QC

Landfill Gas related to Diversion


Methane has a GWP of 23 times that of carbon dioxide Landfill gas consists of approximately 50% methane and 50% carbon dioxide
Trace components include sulfur compounds and volatile organic compounds

Methanogens degrade organic matter, producing methane


Paper waste Garden waste Food waste Wood waste

Landfill Gas related to Diversion


GHG emissions from 97 active and 33 closed landfills
In 2005 methane emissions are 757 kt In 2004 methane emissions are 735 kt In 2003 methane emissions are 715 kt

52 recovery projects in Canada (30 active and 22 closed) Of the 757 kt of methane 318 kt (i.e. 42%) was captured in 2005 50% of landfills that capture use it for energy, remainder flare 67.6 MW of electricity is produced 2,118,920 million BTU of heat is generated

Characteristics of LFG projects by Province


Province No. of LFG projects 2 13 21 2 14 0 0 Active area (ha) 170 905 1200 1523 437 501 8.1 Refuse buried (tonnes) 1,520,699 105,315,590 64,234,313 22,674,427 25,898,000 3,287,849 148,400 Average Depth (m) 20 16 21 6 15 17.5 22 Average density (Kg/m3) 730 900 725 500 900 750 700 LFG flared LFG (tonnes/yr) utilized (tonnes/yr) 5,391 88,086 47,175 224 13,520 0 0 0 56,493 83,715 4171 14,652 0 0

NS QC ON AB BC NB PEI

Findings on Diversion
British Columbia (29%) and Nova Scotia (22%) have highest diversion rates Otter Lake landfill, Halifax, Nova Scotia $115.00/tonne disposal fee diverted 30% of its total waste (2005) City of Orillia landfill, Orillia, Ontario - $ 110.00/tonne disposal fee diverted 35% of its total waste (2005) Higher disposal fees has prompted higher % of waste diversion

Diversion in 2005
88% of the total waste generated went to landfills 12% is diverted (1.7 million tonnes) 6.1% is composted (839,335 tonnes), saving 7.3 kt of methane emissions 5.9 % is recycled (804,975 tonnes), saving 100 kt of methane emissions Diversion is less then 1% at most private landfills

Waste Diverted versus Methane Emissions


60

GHG.emissions.saved.in.2005

40

20

12831 1495 19141 25750

35

41010 53990 64448 7100 85010

Total.Waste.Diverted.in.2005

(based on savings from producing virgin materials versus recycled and composting)

Waste diversion versus Disposal fees


90

Percentage of.Waste.diverted

70

50

30

10

-10

20

40

60 Disposal.Fee

80

100

120

Provincial Data
Province Average Diameter of Catchment area (km) 80 95 Total Waste disposed in 2005 (tonnes) 1,443,681 1,287,247 Total GHG emissions in 2005 (kt) 31 72 Current Waste (tonnes) Waste Capacity (tonnes) Average Density (kg/m3) Average Disposal Fees ($) % Waste diverted

AB BC

22,674,427 25,898,000

102,054,139 53,800,000

500 900

25 65

13 29

NB
NS ON PEI QC

150
93 88 125 100

281,447
275,324 3,911,351 33,376 4,821,571

7
7 117 0.88 370

3,287,849
1,520,699 64,234,313 148,400 105,315,590

22,775,000
10,045,760 155,156,327 371,000 196,313,230

750
730 725 700 900

61
64 63 100 50

22 16 54 6

Identifying Trends: Waste variables (log) for Alberta


9.00 8.00 7.00 6.00
Variables

5.00 4.00 3.00 2.00 1.00 0.00 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 Landfills 2005 emissions current waste density disposal fees diverted waste waste capacity

Identifying Trends: Waste variables (log) for British Columbia


8.00 7.00 6.00
Variables

5.00 4.00 3.00 2.00 1.00 0.00


25 26 27 Landfills 2005 GHG emissions Disposal fees Current waste Capacity Density Diverted waste 28 29

Identifying Trends: Waste variables (log) for New Brunswick


8.00 7.00 6.00
Variables

5.00 4.00 3.00 2.00 1.00 0.00


30 31 Landfills
2005 GHG emissions Disposal Fees Current waste diverted waste Density Waste capacity

32

33

Identifying Trends: Waste variables (log) for


Nova Scotia
7.00 6.00 5.00
Variables

4.00 3.00 2.00 1.00 0.00


34 35 36 Landfills 2005 GHG emissions Current waste Density Disposal fees Diverted waste Waste capacity 37 38 39

Identifying Trends: Waste variables (log) for Ontario


8.00 7.00 6.00 5.00

Variables

4.00 3.00 2.00 1.00 0.00

40

42

44

46

48

50

52

54

56

58

60

62

64

66

68

70

2005 GHG emissions

Current waste

Landfills Density Disposal fees

Diverted waste

Waste capacity

72

Identifying Trends: Waste variables (log) for Quebec


9.00 8.00 7.00 6.00
Variables

5.00 4.00 3.00 2.00 1.00 0.00


74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 Landfills 2005 GHG emissions Current waste Density Disposal fees Diverted waste Waste capacity

Results: GHG Emissions


Density and disposal fees have no significant effect on the GHG emissions because of the historical waste (current waste in place). For every hectare increase in landfill area, a 0.81 tonnes increase in GHG emissions can be predicted
5

4
Log..2005.Emissions.

0.0

0.5

1.0

1.5 Log..Area.

2.0

2.5

3.0

Results: Disposal fee versus Density of Waste


120

100

80

Disposal.Fee

60

40

20

2.0

2.2

2.4

2.6 log..Density.

2.8

3.0

3.2

Landfill space = $, recognizing it has value

Background: Diversion Issues


Composting
Most use it as a temporary, daily and final cover New Brunswick has plans to promote backyard composting

Recycling
Transportation is a main issue (high transportation costs with low volumes) Landfills serving rural communities have limited business opportunities

Funding is one of the main constraints that is limiting waste diversion activities. Not enough methane is generated in order to make it feasible to set up and operate LFG capture systems

Current Waste Management Practices


Landfill practices based on the survey
150 mm (~ 6) of sandy soil/crushed C&D product with gravel is used as daily cover on the working face of the landfill Daily Cover is easier to apply if waste is properly compacted Daily cover is used to minimize dust, blown litter and odors Most landfills use 300 mm (12) to 500 mm of intermediate cover Final cover composed of 1000 mm (1 meter) clay, 100 mm of topsoil and suitable vegetation for irrigation is in practice

Current Waste Management Practices


Landfill practices based on the survey
75 % of the active landfills only collect leachate and most of them have a perimeter collection system Less then 20% of the landfills re-circulate the leachate collected 90% of the landfills compact their waste daily with a CAT 826 compactor, which weighs 82,000 lbs. 90% of the landfills have no waste diversion activities in mind for implementation within the nest five years

References
Bonam, Rathan and Thompson, Shirley. (2007). Results of Environment Canada Survey. Environment Canada: Ottawa. Environment Canada, 2001. Information on Active landfills. < http://www.ec.gc.ca/envirozine/english/issues/05/any_questions_e.cfm> (17 July 2006). Statistics Canada, 2005. Human Activity and the Environment. Catalogue No. 16-201-XIE. < http://www.statcan.ca/bsolc/english/bsolc?catno=16201XIE> (15 June 2006) Thompson et al., 2006. Recommendations for Improving the Canadian Methane Generation Model for Landfills, Environment Canada.

Thank you!

Our regards to all the landfill managers who made this survey possible

Questions?

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