Environment Canada and Climate Change (ECCC) recently announced more than $575,000 in funding to support a total of five projects aimed at reducing greenhouse emissions from landfills. The projects are for pilot-scale implementation of innovative monitoring and automation systems to reduce methane emissions at Canadian landfills.

Municipal solid waste landfills are responsible for almost one quarter of Canada’s methane emissions, which are generated when biodegradable waste decomposes. Methane, a major component of landfill gas, is a potent, but relatively short-lived greenhouse gas, 86 times more powerful than carbon dioxide over a twenty-year period. Cutting methane emissions from all sources, including landfills, is one of the fastest and most cost-effective ways to combat climate change.

The funding is provided through the Emerging Approaches for Reducing Landfill Methane Emissions Fund.

The five projects receiving funding are the following:

  • Comcor Environmental Limited, in Cambridge, Ontario, received $49,748 to work to identify methane surface emissions and compare field method approaches and detectors at three Canadian landfills.
  • Carbonaxion Bio√©nergies Inc., in Quebec, received $200,000 to demonstrate and validate advanced technologies for monitoring landfill gas recovery systems.
  • The University of Western Ontario received $200,000 to monitor methane emissions from the City of London’s W12A Landfill using several emerging technologies.
  • The City of Vancouver received $75,000 to evaluate and compare the use of several technologies for monitoring landfill methane emissions.
  • Comox Valley Regional District, in British Columbia, received $51,000 to use drones for monitoring landfill gas emissions in order to assess collection efficiency and identify system leaks.

Methane emissions from landfills fluctuate over time due to various factors, including barometric pressure, operational practices, and equipment malfunctions. Detecting and repairing leaks as quickly as possible and making adjustments to optimize landfill gas recovery systems are important to help reduce emissions. Emerging drone-based monitoring technologies for landfill methane emissions and automated wellfield management systems present an opportunity to make leak detection and wellfield management easier and more effective.

These initiatives will help landfill operators by evaluating the performance of these emerging technologies, identifying the benefits and barriers to their adoption, and providing examples of how these approaches can be implemented. Ultimately, these projects will support Canada’s waste sector to reduce methane emissions from Canadian landfills.

In October 2021, Canada announced its support for the Global Methane Pledge. The main sources of methane emissions in Canada are oil and gas (38 percent of total methane emissions), agriculture (30 percent), and municipal landfills (23 percent).

Source: Environment and Climate Change Canada