CAN (BC): Why some greenhouses are sourcing landfill gas

British Columbia is mandated to have 75 percent landfill gas collection efficiency, and to comply with this mandate, landfills are partnering with greenhouses.

One of these landfills, Vancouver Landfill, has formed a relationship with Village Farms International, designers and operators of greenhouses in North America that also sell produce. Vancouver Landfill sells about 55 percent of its gas to Village Farms, which uses it to heat one of its greenhouses while generating electricity for Canadian electric utility BC Hydro.

Heating is among these plant growers’ highest expenses, and they require a lot of energy for a relatively small footprint. Further, they typically prioritize reducing their carbon footprint, so a cheaper, cleaner alternative to natural gas appeals to them.

These projects aren’t considered big moneymakers for landfills, but they benefit too.

“We receive $300,000 a year from this project, which is not much considering our capital costs for gas collection,” says Lynn Belanger, manager of transfer and landfill operations for the city of Vancouver in British Columbia. “But we are beneficially using gas that would otherwise be flared. The greenhouse had a need and was close by, making it economically viable for both them and us.”

With this project, the city of Vancouver is projected to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 19,000-metric tons a year, according to a recent study, and Village Farms creates about 7.2 mw of electricity for the grid, while finding a use for waste heat generated during the conversion to grow its plants.

Read more at Waste 360 (Arlene Karidis)

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