The Government of Canada recently announced it was providing $95,000 in financial support to the Aurora Research Institute, in association with Delta Enterprises, a Gwitch’in owned company, to study the potential of converting waste cardboard into pellets as biomass feedstock for heating homes and businesses throughout Inuvik.
Northern communities are looking at ways to reduce their reliance on diesel for heating and electricity by increasing the use of local renewable energy sources and improving energy efficiency. The goal of the project is to eventually build a facility that will take up to 60 per cent of the community’s cardboard bound for the landfill and instead, recycle it into heating pellets, thereby supplementing Inuvik’s biomass pellet supply and reducing reliance on fossil fuels used for heating.
Converting the cardboard to pellets and then burning the pellets to generate heat and electricity results in lower greenhouse gas emissions than disposing of the cardboard in landfill.
By supporting an emerging northern biomass industry, the Government wants to create local jobs, transition to clean energy and keep investments in the North by using local resources and building a regional economy. This will support healthier, more sustainable communities, across the North.
The funding for the study is through the Northern Responsible Energy Approach for Community Heat and Electricity program (Northern REACHE). This investment is part of Canada’s nearly $700 million commitment to help rural and remote communities get off diesel, through programs delivered by Natural Resources Canada and Infrastructure Canada.