Calgary-based Atco Energy Solutions to use organic waste to produce RNG

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Calgary-based Atco Energy Solutions recently announced the construction of a new facility that will use the byproducts from organic waste to produce renewable natural gas (RNG).

The facility, a first for the Calgary-based company, will be built north of Vegreville, Alta. and should be up and running by late 2022. It will process agricultural manure and other organic waste products from nearby municipalities, harvesting the methane emissions that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere.

The facility will also produce fertilizer as a byproduct, to be used by local farmers. Vegreville-based biofuels company Future Fuel Ltd. will partner with Atco to develop the project.

Mike Shaw, senior vice-president for Atco Energy Solutions, said the facility will be one of the largest renewable natural gas facilities in Canada once completed. He said it will produce enough natural gas to heat 2,500 homes per year and reduce carbon emissions by 20,000 tonnes annually.

While the Vegreville facility will be Atco’s first renewable fuels project, Shaw said it is in the process of developing others in order to help meet its climate change and sustainability targets. Renewable natural gas can be produced from a variety of feedstocks, including residential and commercial organics, waste from water treatment plants, and landfill waste. It can be injected into the existing natural gas grid just like conventional natural gas.

“This facility is an important investment in the advancement of ATCO’s clean fuels strategy,” said Bob Jones, President, ATCO Energy Solutions.  “ATCO is leading the shift to a lower-carbon energy system by enabling our customers’ energy transition to cleaner fuels such as renewable natural gas and hydrogen. We are actively investing in sustainable energy projects – here in Alberta and globally – in an effort to decarbonize the way we live and work, in support of a safe, reliable, affordable and cleaner energy future.”

Brian Nilsson, Director at Future Fuel, stated at the news conference, “We are pleased to announce our partnership with ATCO Energy Solutions to recommission and repurpose an idle biogas asset in Two Hills County. This project adds organics processing facilities in the Capital region, offering a solution to both municipalities and the confined feeding industry for organics processing and emissions reductions. We look forward to continued cooperation with ATCO Energy Solutions and Emissions Reduction Alberta.”

Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) has committed $7.9M to the project through its Natural Gas Challenge. This investment comes from the Government of Alberta and is sourced from the Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) fund.

Ontario and B.C. Governments Show Commitment to Expansion of Renewable Natural Gas Generation

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Ontario

The Ontario government recently announced new rules related to biogas that are designed to create new ways for farmers to expand the emerging biogas and renewable natural gas (RNG) market in the province, creating economic opportunities while maintaining the province’s strict environmental protections.

There are approximately 40 agri-food anaerobic digesters in the province; located mostly on farms.  The regulation changes will enable new on-farm biogas systems and expansion of existing systems to be approved more easily and at a lower cost to help ensure that Ontario continues to be a biogas sector leader in Canada. The changes will also help reduce GHG emissions by diverting waste from landfills and by encouraging production of RNG. The regulation changes will enable Ontario’s $35 million-a-year biogas sector to grow by up to 50 percent over the next five years.

“By reducing regulatory burden for on-farm anaerobic digesters, we can provide economic solutions to divert more valuable food and organic waste from landfills, while maintaining environmental protections by encouraging the recycling of nutrients and reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “We’re saving farm businesses time and money to allow them to grow untapped economic opportunities and take advantage of the emerging renewable natural gas market.”

Using farm waste to generate renewable natural gas is win-win for farmers and the environment: not only does it give farmers the opportunity to use materials that would otherwise go to waste, they are also able to reduce their carbon footprint,” said David Piccini, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “Importantly, these changes include new requirements to better safeguard the environment and human health – helping to ensure that economic growth doesn’t come at the expense of environmental health.”

“StormFisher and the Ontario Government share a vision of an Ontario with less waste going to landfills, more clean energy being created here at home, and more jobs and investment in rural Ontario. The changes announced today regarding on-farm anaerobic digestion will help with all of these goals,” said Brandon Moffatt, Vice President of Development, StormFisher. “The agricultural industry plays a vital role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The conversion of manure and other agricultural materials to renewable natural gas is a great step forward that will lead to significant economic development in rural Ontario and will support our farmers in diversifying their revenues.”

Changes to regulations under the Nutrient Management Act will create more opportunities for farmers to treat on-farm materials as well as other types of off-farm food and organic waste materials in on-farm regulated mixed anaerobic digestion facilities. This will enable an increase in on-farm production of biogas to generate renewable natural gas and will provide Ontario farmers with a new source of on-farm income.

British Columbia

British Columbia recently amended the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Regulation (GGRR) to increase the production and use of renewable gas, as well as green and waste hydrogen in the province. BC is the first province in Canada to make these changes allowing for the increased production of renewable gas. The GGRR allows utilities like FortisBC and Pacific Northern Gas to make time-limited investments, within spending and volumetric caps, to stimulate the domestic market for renewable gases and reduce GHG emissions.

“A key part of our CleanBC strategy is increasing the use of hydrogen and other renewable gases in place of fossil fuels in vehicles, buildings and industry,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation. “The changes we’ve made to the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Regulation will provide natural gas utilities with more flexibility, stimulate investments in renewable energy and accelerate growth of hydrogen and renewable gas supply in their systems, while keeping rates affordable for their customers.”

“Changes to the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Regulation are important to accelerate the growth of B.C.’s renewable gas supply,” said Roger Dall’Antonia, president and CEO, FortisBC. “By increasing the renewable gas cap and expanding the regulation to include other renewable gases, such as hydrogen, we’re entering an exciting new phase of renewable energy development that will accelerate the transformation of our natural gas infrastructure into a delivery system for carbon-neutral energy.”

The amendment to the GGRR will enable utilities to increase the amount of RNG, green and waste hydrogen, and other renewable energy they can acquire and make available to customers, and help the province to achieve its CleanBC objectives, which commit to a 15% renewable gas content in the natural gas system by 2030.

15 Municipalities Participating in the Canadian Circular Cities and Regions Initiative

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The Circular Cities & Regions Initiative (CCRI) is a one-year pilot created and developed by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Green Municipal Fund, the National Zero Waste Council, the Recycling Council of Alberta and RECYC-QUÉBEC to advance circular economy knowledge sharing and capacity building in Canadian cities and communities of all sizes.

Through direct support and guidance locally focused to their needs, and access to a peer network that will encourage and foster collaboration amongst participants, those taking part in CCRI will:

  • learn how to get started and to embed circular economy approaches in their respective communities,
  • access one-on-one mentoring, support and advice in the development of their local circular economy roadmap,
  • identify benefits to the members of their communities, challenges to overcome and opportunities during this transition,
  • collect lessons learned and best practices to support the future transition of other cities and regions to a circular economy,
  • and more.

Fifteen local governments have been selected to participate in the Canadian Circular Cities & Regions Initiative’s (CCRI) Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Network, designed to promote job creation and sustainable practices in the post-pandemic economy. The following local governments are part of the CCRI P2P Network:

  • Calgary (AB)
  • Canmore (AB)
  • Chapais (QC)
  • Gatineau (QC)
  • Mississauga (ON)
  • Montréal (QC)
  • Nanaimo (BC)
  • New Glasgow (NS)
  • Region of York (ON)
  • Richmond (BC)
  • Saskatoon (SK)
  • Sherbrooke (QC)
  • St. John’s (NL)
  • Vancouver (BC)
  • Whitehorse (YK)

Accelerating the transition to a circular economy is recognized as an opportunity for new jobs and environmental sustainability — at a time when governments and communities are in critical need of both. As the Canadian economy rebounds from the COVID-19 downturn, the circular economy provides a framework for achieving climate action commitments and nurturing a prosperous and equitable future for residents and businesses.

In a news release, Joanne Vanderheyden, President, FCM stated; “Municipalities want new models of economic practices that are efficient, better balanced, sustainable, and local. The circular economy is a key part of the solution.”

A series of national webinars is being hosted throughout the year to profile leading examples from within Canada and abroad. Webinars are open to the public and delivered in English with French simultaneous interpretation. Registration is available online.

 

Toronto Cleantech Capital Inc. Announces Closing of Initial Public Offering

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Toronto Cleantech Capital Inc. (TSXV: YAY.P) (“TCTC” or the “Corporation”) recently announced that it has successfully completed its initial public offering of 2,500,000 common shares of the Corporation (“Common Shares”) at a price of $0.10 per Common Share for gross proceeds of $250,000 (the “Offering”). After completion of the Offering, the Corporation now has 11,500,000 Common Shares issued and outstanding.

The President, Chief Executive Officer of Toronto Cleantech Capital Inc. is James Sbrolla, a well-known cleantech expert and entrepreneur.  The Board of Directors of the Corporation include seasoned cleantech professionals experts in business and finance.

Leede Jones Gable Inc. (the “Agent“) acted as the agent for the Offering and in connection therewith, the Corporation granted the Agent non-transferable warrants (the “Agent’s Warrants“) which entitle the Agent to purchase up to 200,000 Common Shares at an exercise price $0.10 per Common Share. The Agent’s Warrants will expire 24 months from the date the Common Shares were listed on the TSX Venture Exchange (the “Exchange“), which was June 30, 2021. In connection with the Offering, the Agent also received a cash commission equal to 8.0% of the gross proceeds of the Offering, a corporate finance fee, and was reimbursed for its legal fees and reasonable expenses.

Concurrent with the closing of the Offering, the Corporation also granted options to acquire an aggregate of 950,000 Common Shares at an exercise price of $0.10 per Common Share to directors and officers of the Corporation, which options expire five years from the date of grant.

The Corporation is a “capital pool company” and intends to use the net proceeds of the Offering to identify and evaluate assets or businesses for acquisition with a view to completing a “Qualifying Transaction” under the policies of the Exchange. On June 28, 2021, the Exchange issued a bulletin listing the Common Shares as of market open on June 30, 2021, and immediately halting trading pending completion of closing (the “Exchange Bulletin“). The Common Shares are anticipated to resume trading under the trading symbol “YAY.P” on July 6, 2021.

Investors are cautioned that trading in the securities of a capital pool company should be considered highly speculative.

For further information, please contact:

Toronto Cleantech Capital Inc.
James Sbrolla – President, Chief Executive Officer, and Director

(416) 828-2077
Email: [email protected]

 

Ontario proposes new hazardous and special products waste regulation

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The Ontario government recently issued a draft regulation for hazardous and special products that would require producers of hazardous and special products, such as paints, pesticides, solvents, oil filters, antifreeze and pressurized containers, to collect, manage or promote the recycling or proper disposal of these products at end-of-life.

Description of proposed regulation

The proposed regulations puts more responsibility of producers for the waste generated from their products and packaging.  It also envisions waste as a resource that can be recovered, reused and reintegrated back into the economy.

The proposed regulation for hazardous and special products (HSP) would require producers to:

  • establish free collection networks for consumers
  • manage all collected hazardous and special products HSP properly, including meeting procedures for recycling, where possible, or disposal
  • provide promotion and education (P&E) materials to increase awareness
  • register, report, provide audited/verified sales data, keep records and meet other requirements
  • require producers to transparently reflect any related charges that are intended to be passed on to consumers.

Key principles of the proposed regulation

Under a producer responsibility model for waste diversion, costs would be shifted from municipalities and taxpayers to producers that can better control costs through influence over:

  • the types of products and packaging put into the marketplace
  • the materials used to make products and packaging
  • how the products and packaging are collected and managed at end-of-life

This model would encourage producers to find new and innovative ways to reduce costs and improve the environmentally responsible management of materials.

The proposed regulation is based on the following principles:

1. Improving Environmental Outcomes:

  • ensuring HSP is collected and managed at end-of-life in a safe and environmentally sound manner to keep harmful substances out of the environment and protect human health
  • providing a robust, convenient collection network across Ontario so that consumers can easily drop off their HSP for recycling or proper disposal
  • increasing waste diversion, recovering resources from products that are currently being lost to landfills, and reducing the use of virgin raw materials

2. Reducing costs and burden for businesses:

  • providing producers of HSP with increased flexibility for how they collect and manage their products at end of life or meet regulatory obligations
  • allowing producers of HSP to contract with other organizations in order to meet their regulatory obligations
  • encouraging a sustainable system for industry and consumers by lowering costs, promoting consistency and ensuring ease of access
  • enabling producers to develop and implement innovative and cost-effective approaches while still ensuring HSP are collected and managed properly

3. Supporting economic growth and innovation:

  • reducing taxpayer burden by shifting responsibilities and costs related to the collection and management of HSP to producers and using non-government oversight and compliance
  • encouraging a sustainable system for industry and consumers by lowering costs, promoting consistency and ensuring ease of access
  • providing producers of HSP with the flexibility to develop HSP collection and management systems in a cost-effective manner
  • supporting competition, innovation and better product design

Implementation and governance

The current Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste (MHSW) Program is scheduled to end on June 30, 2021.  Ideally for the Ontario Government, that regulation will be replaced by the proposed Hazardous and Special Products producer responsibility regulation under the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act, 2016 (RRCEA). The new regulation is expected to be fully in effect on July 1, 2021, subject to all necessary approvals being obtained.

The Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (RPRA) would be responsible for:

  • overseeing the proposed scheme, including the compliance and enforcement activities related to the proposed regulation
  • collecting data through its online Registry to oversee and assess performance
  • posting Registry procedures on its website to further clarify producer obligations

 

Proposed regulation details

The Ontario government is seeking input on the draft proposed Hazardous and Special Products regulation. The sections below summarize key elements of the draft proposed Hazardous and Special Products regulation. For full details, please review the draft proposed regulation which is attached under “Supporting materials”:

  1. Defining responsible persons
  2. Designated materials
  3. Management requirements
  4. Promotion and education
  5. Collection and consumer accessibility
  6. Registration, reporting and auditing

Defining responsible persons

The proposed regulation sets out a methodology for identifying producers who would be subject to the requirements under the regulation. This ensures that the person with the closest connection to the designated products is made the responsible producer.

The draft regulation proposes the following hierarchy to determine producer responsibility:

  • the first person responsible would be the brand holder who is resident in Canada and whose HSP are supplied to Ontario consumers
  • where no brand holder is resident in Canada, then the first importer of HSP into Ontario and who is resident in Ontario
  • where no importer is resident in Ontario, then the person who is resident in Ontario who first marketed the HSP
  • where no marketer is resident in Ontario, then the person who is not a resident in Ontario who first marketed the HSP; this would include retailers who are out-of-province and who supply HSP to Ontario consumers through the internet

This producer hierarchy would not apply to either fertilizers or mercury-containing devices, such as thermostats, thermometers and barometers, where the Ontario government is proposing to only obligate brand owners – and not importers or marketers – as brand owners would be in the best position to oversee the implementation of a P&E program for fertilizers or the management of mercury-containing devices.

To reduce burden, the Ontario government is proposing to exempt producers that supply a relatively small quantity (weight) of HSP into the Ontario market from all requirements under the regulation , except for recordkeeping requirements, if their supply of HSP is less than or equal to the product-specific minimum thresholds, as defined in the proposed regulation.

Designated materials

The proposed regulation would transition the products managed by the current Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste (MHSW) program, with the addition of mercury-containing devices (i.e. thermometers, barometers and thermostats). The proposed regulation sets out four (4) defined categories of HSP, where each category includes different HSP as well as different responsibilities that the producers of the HSP must undertake:

  • Category A Products include oil filters and non-refillable pressurized containers. Producers of these products would have consumer accessibility requirements, P&E requirements, management targets, and would have to properly recycle or dispose of any Category A products that are collected.
  • Category B Products include antifreeze (including factory-fill antifreeze), empty oil containers, paints, pesticides, solvents and refillable pressurized containers. Producers of these products would have consumer accessibility requirements, P&E requirements, and would have to properly recycle or dispose of any Category B products that are collected. The ministry is proposing to exempt propane that is marketed in refillable pressurized propane containers from collection, management or P&E requirements in recognition of their long lifespan (refilled and reused for many years) and existing closed-loop collection system for these products. The government continues to seek input and feedback to better understand the current management and recovery of these products and implications if these products were to be exempt from regulatory requirements.
  • Category C Products include mercury-containing devices, including thermostats, thermometers and barometers. Obligated producers of these materials would have P&E requirements and would be required to properly recycle or dispose of Category C products, if collected by municipalities or other permanent depots or at HSP collection events.
  • Category D Products include fertilizers. Producers of these materials would have P&E requirements aimed at encouraging consumers to use up or share fertilizers.

The Ontario government is proposing that producers of Category A Products and Category B Products would be subject to registration, reporting and auditing/data verification requirements. Producers of Category C Products (i.e. mercury-containing devices) and Category D Products (i.e. fertilizers) would be required to register and report annually.

At a future date, the ministry intends to consult on what additional products could be added in subsequent phases of the regulation.

Management requirements

The proposed regulation requires producers of Category A Products, including oil filters and non-refillable pressurized containers, to meet management targets. These targets set out a minimum amount of HSP that producers need to collect and recycle, calculated based on the weight of these HSP sold into the marketplace, multiplied by the management percentage stated in the proposed regulation.

Only HSP processed by registered processors that meet defined standards and is sent to an end market within the performance period would count towards meeting a producer of Category A Product’s management target.

The proposed regulation would prohibit a producer from satisfying the management target by adding the weight of HSP that is land disposed.

Producers of the other categories of HSP would not be subject to management targets. However, producers of Category B Products and Category C Products would still be required to properly manage (i.e., recycle or dispose) any HSP that they collect or receive.

Promotion and education

The proposed regulation requires producers of Category A and Category B Products to implement promotion and education programs to:

  • raise consumer awareness about the producer’s efforts to collect, recycle or properly dispose of HSP
  • encourage public participation in those efforts

Producers of Category C Products would be required to implement promotion and education programs to inform the public that mercury-containing devices can be returned to municipal depots, select non-retail collection sites and collection events.

The government is also proposing that producers of Category D Products (i.e. fertilizers) be required to implement promotion and education programs to:

  • educate consumers that unused fertilizers without pesticides are typically not hazardous waste and should not be brought to municipal HSP depots or events
  • encourage consumers to alternatively use up or share any leftover fertilizer so that there is no leftover residual product to be managed

To support transparency and protect consumers from potentially misleading or inaccurate information, the Ontario government is proposing that sellers who impose a separate charge in connection to the sale of HSP be required to communicate:

  • who imposed the charge
  • how this separate charge would be used by the seller to collect, recycle or properly dispose of HSP

Consumer accessibility

The proposed regulation would require producers of Category A Products and Category B Products to establish and operate a robust, convenient collection network, including both collection sites and events, for consumers to return their HSP at end of life, free of charge. The regulation would set consumer accessibility requirements based on municipal population size and/or number of retail locations to ensure there are collection locations throughout the province, including northern and rural areas as well as Indigenous communities, while also providing producers with flexibility on how they may establish their system.

The proposed regulation would allow for a variety of options that producers can use to satisfy their consumer accessibility requirements. The Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) continues to consider how to design an approach that would support an equitable number and distribution of permanent collection locations (for example, return-to-retail and municipal depots) and collection events. Producers can reduce their required number of permanent sites by implementing alternative collection options, such as call-in “toxic taxi”, mail-in, curbside collection services, or additional collection events. In addition, the MECP is considering an option which would allow producers to offset their required number of collection sites or events in certain municipalities with collection sites or events implemented in other municipalities where collection sites exceed the minimum regulated requirements. This could allow for greater flexibility for producers to use existing sites to offset requirements for establishing new sites and reduce burden. The MECP is considering appropriate conditions to limit the application of offsets to ensure that Ontarians will still have convenient access to collection options. This proposed option is not reflected in the draft regulation which accompanies this posting.

The proposed regulation would include service standards for the various collection options (e.g. hours of operation, types and amounts of materials to be collected) to ensure a level playing field in the service provided.

Producers would have 18 months to establish their collection network and obtain MECP approvals where necessary, while they would be required to maintain the current number of collection sites and events in each municipality, and current service levels.

The MECP recognizes that environmental compliance approvals (ECAs) are required for collection sites in order to receive certain types of HSP (e.g. oil filters, antifreeze, oil containers, solvents and pesticides). Through a separate process, the ministry intends to consider ways to streamline approval requirements by proposing and consulting on amendments to Ontario Regulation 347 (General – Waste Management), made under the Environmental Protection Act, that would make it easier to implement collection sites for HSP that is destined to be sent to a recycling or proper disposal facility.

Registration, reporting and auditing

The proposed regulation would require producers of all categories of HSP, voluntary organizations, producer responsibility organizations and certain service providers (i.e. haulers, processors and waste disposal companies) to:

  • Register with the Authority. The proposed regulation sets out the information to be registered and the timelines for submitting information.
  • Keep records that relate to the accepting, storing, handling, transferring, processing and disposing of HSP in Ontario.
  • Submit reports through the Authority’s Registry. The draft proposed regulation sets out each party’s reporting obligations, including contents of the reports and reporting frequency. Producers would have the option of having another organization submit these reports on their behalf.

In order to reduce burden, the Ontario government is proposing that collection site operators (e.g. municipalities and retailers) do not need to register and report to the Authority, although they would still be required to keep records related to HSP at their site.

The proposed regulation would require producers to have an independent audit conducted annually by a certified accountant or verification via internal attestation to verify sales data.

Public consultation opportunities

The proposed regulation is posted on the Environmental Bill of Rights Electronic Registry for comment until March 28th, 2021. The MECP will also hold consultation sessions in the coming weeks to seek stakeholder feedback and input on the proposed regulation.

 

CHAR Technologies Closes $6 Million Private Placement

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CHAR Technologies Ltd. (TSX Venture Exchange: YES) recently announced it has raised CDN$6,000,000 in a non-brokered placement.

CHAR Technologies is an Ontario-based cleantech development and services company, specializing in high temperature pyrolysis, converting woody materials and organic waste into renewable gases and biocarbon.

Andrew White, CEO, CHAR Technologies Ltd.

“We were very pleased with the overwhelming interest and exceptional investor support in the offering which had substantial demand beyond the placement size. We had significant institutional participation and interest,” said Andrew White, CEO. “The proceeds will not only strengthen our financial position but will also enable us to capitalize on the growing number of opportunities emerging in the Clean Tech sector for our products and technologies.”

CHAR intends to use the net proceeds of the Offering primarily for working capital needs with anticipated contracts, project development activities and investment in technology initiatives.

About CHAR Technologies

CHAR Technologies Ltd. is a cleantech development and services company, specializing in high temperature pyrolysis, converting woody materials and organic waste into renewable gases (renewable natural gas and green hydrogen) and biocarbon (activated charcoal “SulfaCHAR” and solid biofuel “CleanFyre”). Additional services include custom equipment for industrial water treatment, and providing services in environmental compliance, environmental management, site investigation and remediation, engineering and resource efficiency.

Vitacore Industries launching Canada’s first single-use PPE recycling program

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In partnership with McMaster University and the University of British ColumbiaVitacore Industries Inc. has launched Canada’s first single-use mask and respirator end-to-end recycling program aimed at reducing the environmental impact of single-use PPE. The pilot program officially launched across Metro Vancouver in February and provides PPE recycling bins at long term care and urgent care facilities at no cost including City Centre Urgent and Primary Care Centre in downtown Vancouver and North Vancouver Urgent and Primary Care Centre. This program provides front-line workers with the opportunity to recycle their single-use face masks and CAN95 respirators and will be expanded nationally to include bins across the country.

Once collected, the single-use masks and respirators are sterilized by Vitacore before being sent to McMaster University to be broken down and repelletized. Polypropylene, the plastic used in single-use masks and respirators, will be given a second life as construction materials to reinforce concrete or siding for buildings and reduce the amount of waste heading to landfills. Furthermore, to expand the possible uses for the repelletized materials, ongoing research is still being conducted by McMaster University.

According to Vitacore president Mikhail Moore, “Over 63,000 tons of Covid-19 related single-use masks and respirators will be used over the next year in Canada, significantly contributing to the pollution in our landfills and oceans. Vitacore is committed not only to providing the highest quality PPE to Canadians, but also to a sustainable future”.

“From product conception to point-of-use and disposal, we are developing a blueprint for maximizing sustainability in the life cycle of polyolefin-based PPE products.” Says Yang Fei, director, Research and Development at Vitacore.

“Environmental sustainability is one of the thematic pillars for research at McMaster’s Centre of Excellence in Protective Equipment and Materials (CEPEM). This project illustrates the innovative approaches the centre is taking, along with partners such as Vitacore, to advance long-term sustainable use of PPE by the public and healthcare workers,” says Ravi Selvaganapathy, CEPEM’s director and Canada Research Chair in Biomicrofluidics. This month, CEPEM received $1.2M in funding from the Government of Ontario to expand its testing infrastructure and partnerships with Canadian companies, such as Vitacore.

 

Canada invests in waste-to-fuel study for Indigenous and Northern Communities

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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.

Canada and FCM invest in expanded residual materials recycling at eco centres in Quebec Municipality

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The Government of Canada and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) recently announced the investment of $9.1 million for a project the will reuse residual materials in the eco centres of the Regional Municipal County (RMC) of La Rivière-du-Nord.  The funding is through the Green Municipal Fund (GMF) which supports more sustainable communities. The GMF is funded by the Government of Canada and delivered to municipalities by FCM.

Thanks to this funding, the RMC de La Rivière-du-Nord will be able to develop better management of residual materials, mainly by significantly reducing landfill sites and recycling residual materials on its territory. Currently, the RMC manages four eco centres that recover 900 tons of residual materials per year, and only materials that are in a condition to be resold are accepted. The funding will enable the RMC to build new infrastructure, including a reuse shop and a new energy-efficient eco centre in Saint-Jérôme, to optimize the Saint-Hippolyte and Prévost eco centres, and to treat construction, renovation and demolition residues as well as non-reusable materials.

“In collaboration with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, the Government of Canada is helping communities reduce their carbon footprints and operate more efficiently”, said Stéphane Lauzon, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Seniors and Member of Parliament for Argenteuil-La Petite-Nation. “These pilot projects will help municipalities become more eco-efficient, improve the quality of the environment, and offer citizens access to greener services, equipment and tools.”

The expected environmental benefits of the project include the diversion of 900 tonnes per year of waste from landfill, increased recovery rates for the RMC from 60 to 66%, the retention of rainwater to suspended materials in stormwater runoff by 43%, and energy savings in the operation of 25%.

The project is expected to result in an operating cost savings from $991/tonne in 2019 to $226/tonne in 2021.  It will also provide a diversification of revenue sources with the contribution of the IC&I, contractor, and retail sectors.

Depending on the success of the project, there is potential for it to be replicated by municipalities in Quebec and across Canada.

“GMF is focused on local sustainable development projects that improve the quality of life of our citizens, and this project directly meets this goal,” stated Scott Pearce, FCM Third Vice-President and Mayor of the Township of Gore. “The new eco centres are an important step in adopting sustainable measures in the region. Reducing the amount of residual material going to landfill is not only good for the environment, but also helps people live healthier and build more sustainable communities.”

Bruno Laroche, Prefect of the RMC of La Rivière-du-Nord and Mayor of Saint-Hippolyte stated: “The success of reuse in the eco centres managed by the RMC of La Rivière-du-Nord is already known throughout the province. Optimization of the network will not only make it possible to maintain this momentum, but also to recycle construction materials, which account for nearly half of the generation of residual materials on the territory. This funding represents both a recognition of the efforts made and a boost to continue improving performance and achieving the objectives of the RMC’s residual materials management plan.”

The GMF is a $1-billion program funded by the Government of Canada and delivered by FCM.  Since 2000, GMF has helped bring over 1,360 projects to life.  GMF supports local innovation that can be replicated and scaled up across the country to tackle Canada’s climate challenges.

Manitoba Launches Organics Green Impact Bond

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The Manitoba government is launching a unique $1-million Green Impact Bond that will support projects that help divert organic waste from landfills, create green jobs and reduce greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions.

The Green Impact Bond is a finance tool to fund impact-driven projects, enabling the government to rapidly innovate and implement new solutions for organic waste and GHG emissions while sharing risks with the private sector. This tool brings the public, private, non-profit and charitable sectors together to develop innovative solutions to complex problems that have not been solved by one sector alone. Through the Green Impact Bond, a service provider is to meet agreed-upon outcomes for organic waste diversion, job creation and GHG reduction. Investors will provide up-front funding to the service provider. A third-party evaluator will determine whether the outcomes have been met and the return on investment to be paid by the province.

Waste and landfills account for 3.3 per cent of Manitoba’s annual GHG emissions. Manitoba’s landfills are approaching capacity and by some estimates, approximately 40 per cent of their waste is organic material. Organic waste produces methane, a harmful GHG, so diverting organic waste from landfills will reduce emissions, contributing to the Made-in-Manitoba Climate and Green Plan and Carbon Savings Account.

Innovative NRG, a Manitoba waste-to-energy company, has been chosen as the Green Impact Bond service provider. The company will use its patented and proprietary innovative technology, branded as Rapid Organic Conversion (ROC), to process organic waste such as animal byproducts and waste-water sludge through a gasification process. The ROC technology is a made-in-Manitoba innovative, clean-tech solution that vaporizes carbon-based waste material. Thermal energy released in the process is captured and can heat buildings or water for industrial uses, thereby reducing the use of fossil fuels. Waste-to-energy can be appropriate for materials that do not have landfill diversion options such as recycling. Innovative NRG’s waste diversion units will be installed in the rural municipalities of Cartier and Rossburn, as well as in the town of Carman.

“We need to take steps to prolong the lifespan of our landfills and this Green Impact Bond provides a great opportunity to reduce organic waste while growing Manitoba’s green economy,” said Conservation and Climate Minister Sarah  Guillemard. “By reducing organics in our landfills, we lower the production of methane and create new, clean-growth job opportunities.”

The concept of impact investment is growing globally. The Green Impact Bond creates a unique investment opportunity for those committed to driving environmental change. Organizations can now support transformational work while investing at competitive rates in Manitoba, Families Minister Rochelle Squires noted.  The Manitoba Department of Families includes the Social Innovation Office.

“Our ROC innovation represents a leap forward in reducing GHG emissions and costs, disrupting the existing centralized waste landfill disposal system by locating ROC plants at commercial operations sites to recover their waste energy profitably,” said Del Dunford, CEO, Innovative NRG. “By eliminating the need to transport waste to landfills, we eliminate the cost and GHG emissions from transportation and landfilling, and take advantage of a renewable energy resource for economic development in remote and northern Manitoba communities.”

Investors with an interest in supporting leading-edge environmental projects are invited to learn more by emailing [email protected]  and visiting www.manitoba.ca/sio.