Waste Management is hoping convert all the methane produced at its Twin Creeks landfill into natural gas.
And at least one Warwick politician would like to see some of it come to his community.
In 2009, the Watford area landfill became one of the largest landfills in the province. Since then, 1.4 million tons of waste from across the province is hauled to the site.
Waste Management officials, who were at a special Warwick Council meeting Monday to explain the Renewable Natural Gas project, say the landfill now has about 8.4 years of life. The company is also in the process of expanding the landfill by building up.
But it the company also wants build a 300 by 400 foot Renewable Natural Gas facility on site to power its own municipal collection trucks and to feed into a new Enbridge pipeline which is in the works.
John McDonald, WM senior district manager, says the project will not only provide fuel for the company, it will take methane out of the environment.
“The landfill gas is produced and collected at the landfill currently, but it is flared off at the present time,” McDonald told council. “A portion of the gas that’s collected goes to the 40 acre greenhouse (next to the Watford landfill) for heating purposes for them. It is our intention to develop a renewable natural gas plant at the landfill to utilize that gas that’s coming out of the landfill itself and will be connected directly to a natural gas transmission line that is being constructed.”
Right now 60 per cent of the methane produced is burned off in the company’s flares.
“Once the once the gas is processed, then it comes out the other end and it can be used in our in our commercial fleet as natural gas to replace our current sources.”
Larry Feduc of Waste Management says the building will house all of the equipment needed to “take the landfill gas and remove a number of compounds… like oxygen, nitrogen oxide, carbon dioxide, various other compounds, basically to clean it up, and almost purify it to almost pure methane if you will to make it natural gas pipeline quality.
“A number of the processes and equipment will occur inside an enclosed building… anything that’s sort of noise generating – compressors, those sorts of things – will be within the enclosed building.”
Warwick Township Mayor Todd Case says capturing the methane and producing natural gas is “way better than flaring it into the sky into the atmosphere.”
But Case added it is “rather ironic, we’re sitting here talking about producing natural gas in our community and the landfill, or which we have a partnership, and they’re going to be taking this product and they’re going to be taking it down the system when we actually need the product here in our community.
“It’s a little hard to swallow in the sense of this great project that’s going to produce this natural gas – we need in our own community.”
Case says he talked to the company about finding a way to “reroute it to be able to service our community.”
While WM didn’t comment on the possibility, officials did say they will soon be coming to township council with a site plan which will need approval.
McDonald also noted the company needs to work out a community host agreement for the RNG plant.
The host agreement Warwick has with WM has so far generated $33 million in revenue for the township.
Waste Management is hosting a public meeting on the project Thursday at the Twin Creeks site. It runs from 4 to 7 pm.