Canadian Anaerobic Digestion Guideline

The Canadian Biogas Association (CBA) has developed an industry-led, national Anaerobic Digestion (AD) Guideline document. The AD Guideline provides recommended planning, design, and operational practices for AD facilities that process food and organic waste materials. The document aims to create a clear outline of best practices for biogas projects and assist developers and stakeholders with the regulatory process and remove barriers to support growth in the green economy.

The AD Guideline addresses a gap following a global jurisdictional scan that found over 20 AD Guidelines or supporting documents in Europe, Australia, and the US with no equivalent document for Canada. The AD Guideline was shared in draft form with CBA members, biogas industry colleagues, and key stakeholders in several regions across Canada in early 2019 with notable input from government departments, industry organizations, and members representing agriculture, municipal and private interests. By far the overlying sentiments from the feedback was tremendously positive.

Now, a first of kind Canadian AD Guideline offers technical guidance to support continued development of biogas projects in Canada. The CBA would like to thank committee members and stakeholders for their contributions and interest in the development of this important resource.

AD Guideline Development
The CBA’s objectives in developing the AD Guideline are:

  • Create a clear outline of best practices for biogas projects;
  • Assist developers and stakeholders with the regulatory process and remove barriers to support growth in the green economy;
  • Inform proponents to minimize or prevent, using buffers or other control measures, the exposure of any person, property, plant or animal life to adverse effects associated with the operation of food and organic waste AD facilities.

The AD Guideline is written for industry by industry. The AD Guideline is developed to assist stakeholders in deployment of AD facilities. Stakeholders include developers, regulators, organizations with specific or general interest in AD facilities. The AD Guideline focuses on AD facilities that process food and organic waste, including agricultural feedstock.

Requesting Your Copy
If you wish to receive a copy of the Canadian AD Guideline, please contact the Canadian Biogas Association.

GFL Environmental aims to raise more capital, Acquires County Waste of Virginia

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GFL Environmental Inc. (“GFL”), headquartered in the Greater Toronto Area, recently announced that it priced its previously announced private offering of US$500 million in aggregate principal amount of 5.125% senior secured notes due 2026  and US$275 million in aggregate principal amount of 7.000% unsecured senior notes due 2026 and in a transaction that was significantly oversubscribed.

GFL previously issued US$400 million in aggregate principal amount of its 7.000% unsecured senior notes due 2026 and the Unsecured Notes will be treated as “Additional Notes” under the indenture governing the Unsecured Notes and will be treated as a single series with the Existing Unsecured Notes under such indenture. In addition to the Notes, GFL expects to raise a minimum of $300 million of equity from existing shareholders of GFL (the “Equity Financing”). The closing of the Equity Financing and the Notes Offering are not contingent on each other.

GFL intends to use the net proceeds from the offering of the Notes, together with the Equity Financing (i) to fund certain acquisitions, including a pending acquisition, (ii) to repay outstanding borrowings under its revolving credit facility, (iii) to pay related fees and expenses in connection therewith and (iv) for general corporate purposes.

GFL also announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire County Waste of Virginia, LLC and its subsidiaries.  The transaction, which is expected to close in January 2020, is subject to receipt of customary regulatory approvals.

County Waste offers solid waste management services, including collection, transportation, transfer, recycling and disposal of non-hazardous solid waste for municipal, residential and commercial and industrial customers in Virginia and Eastern Pennsylvania. County Waste’s collection and hauling operations utilize a fleet of over 410 trucks that service over 410,000 residential customers and 19,000 commercial customers. County Waste owns six transfer stations and one material recovery facility and operates a landfill in Troutville, Virginia.

New Recycling Facility Opens in Lachine

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The City of Lachine, a borough within the city of Montreal on the Island of Montreal, has a new state-of-the art recycling facility. The centre, built at a cost of $50M, will process 100,000 tonnes of material per year.

Some 80 trucks a day will arrive at the centre every day. The centre will be able to process 100,000 tonnes of recycled materials per year — 58 per cent of the recyclable material collected in the city.

Lachine Mayor Maja Vodanovic sees the opening of a recycling plant in Lachine as one important element in a much larger plan — the creation of what is called a circular economy.

The goal of a circular economy, also referred to as circularity, is to eliminate waste by creating a closed loop. Material waste is reused, refurbished, repaired or repurposed. The circular template differs from the linear purchase-and-discard practice. The circular process not only reduces waste, it reduces the number of road trips required to cart waste to another location.

The plant will use automated machinery to separate paper, cardboard and plastic. A staff of 25 workers are required to operate the facility.

In the new year, glass recycling equipment will be added to the operations at the facility at a cost of $2.5 million.

Vancouver’s Ongoing Campaign to reduce Holiday Season Waste

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Since 2013, the Metro Vancouver has had a holiday season campaign that attempts to educate the public on waste issues related to gift giving.

Celebrate winter holidays with gifts that don’t end up in the trash. “Consumers buy a lot of things for family and friends during the gift-giving season but it’s the memories of times and experiences shared with the people we love that we remember the most,” said Malcolm Brodie, Chair of Metro Vancouver’s Zero Waste Committee. “Many people are celebrating Christmas and other holidays and events by choosing gifts that do not get buried in a landfill after a few months. Some people may want to give gifts of time or experiences, like a ticket to a concert, lessons at a community centre, or a day on snowshoes with the family. People can also choose to give fewer, higher-quality gifts that will last for years. “You can be a green angel,” Brodie said. “Create memories, not garbage.”

This is the sixth year that Metro Vancouver has carried out a waste reduction campaign during December which uses advertising at public transit facilities, in social media and news media.

In January 2013, after the 2012 Christmas campaign, a public opinion survey found that about half of those polled were aware of the campaign. One in four of those polled said that the advertising has some effect on the types of gifts they bought at Christmas. “Waste reduction and recycling is Metro Vancouver’s first priority,” said Board Chair Greg Moore. “This seasonal campaign is just one of the many initiatives the regional district, its member municipalities and partners are undertaking to generate less garbage and recycle as much as we possibly can.”

Many Green Gift Ideas are posted on Metro Vancouver’s website, on the Create Memories, not Garbage pages. There are also electronic greeting cards and videos, such as Christmas Campaign – Create Memories, not Garbage and Christmas at the Landfill.

Canada-based Fund created for investing in Cleantech Start-ups

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To support the development of cleantech companies, four Québec-based institutions are investing US$29 million in the new US$156.5 million Spring Lane Capital Fund I. With their investments, BDC Capital (US$15 million), Fonds de solidarité FTQ (US$7.5 million), Fondaction (US$3.5 million) and Palomino Capital (US$3 million) are looking to finance the start-up and post-start-up phases of cleantech companies, essential actors in the field of sustainable development.

“BDC Capital is pleased to support the launch of Spring Lane’s inaugural fund,” said Alison Nankivell, Vice President, Fund Investments and Global Scaling. “We believe the Spring Lane’s combination of project finance and growth equity for small scale environmental projects will help address a genuine funding gap in the financing chain for cleantech companies.”

“With its innovative and pioneering model, Spring Lane Capital is addressing the main challenge faced by the cleantech sector when it comes to start-up and post-start-up financing. The Fonds de solidarité FTQ’s investment will further help the development of clean technologies right here in Québec,” adds Dany Pelletier, the Fonds’ Vice-President for Investments, Strategic Capital, Energy, Environment and Mines.  

“The model that Spring Lane Capital proposes will enable local companies that are developing innovative technologies to access capital and develop their markets in areas in line with our objectives of sustainable development and the fight against climate change. Furthermore, its expertise in project financing makes it an interesting model for expediting the positive shift in our economy,” continues Marc-André Binette, Deputy Chief Investment Officer at Fondaction.

“We are very happy to support cleantech companies, both locally in Québec and abroad, as they benefit from Spring Lane’s innovative financing model to help grow their business,” declares Gary Alexander, CEO of Palomino Capital.

About BDC Capital
BDC Capital is the investment arm of BDC- Canada’s only bank devoted exclusively to entrepreneurs. With over $3 billion under management, BDC Capital serves as a strategic partner to the country’s most innovative firms. It offers a full spectrum of risk capital, from seed investments to transition capital, supporting Canadian entrepreneurs who wish to scale their businesses into global champions. Visit bdc.ca/capital.

About the Fonds de solidarité FTQ
The Fonds de solidarité FTQ is a development capital investment fund that channels the savings of Quebecers into investments. As at May 31, 2019, the organization had $15.6 billion in net assets, and through its current portfolio of investments supports 215,104 jobs. The Fonds is a partner in 3,126 companies and today has more than 700,000 shareholder-savers.

About Fondaction
Fondaction distinguishes itself through its investments, which are aimed at supporting, promoting and encouraging sustainable development. It manages assets in excess of $2 billion collected as retirement savings from more than 170,000 shareholders.
Fondaction supports the development of more than 1,200 SMEs, many of which are social economy enterprises. It helps create and maintain jobs and reduce inequalities, and contributes to the fight against climate change. Fondaction reduced the carbon footprint of its equity market investments by 51% between 2015 and 2018. For more information, go to fondaction.com or visit our LinkedIn page.

About Palomino Capital
Palomino Capital Corp. is a Montreal-based family office. We deploy proprietary capital across a broad spectrum of asset classes including alternative asset managers, bespoke private credit facilities, direct private equity and real estate.

New Guideline related to Construction, Renovation, and Demolition Waste Management

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The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) has posted a Guide for Identifying, Evaluating and Selecting Policies for Influencing Construction, Renovation and Demolition Waste Management.

Construction, renovation and demolition (CRD) wastes make up one of the largest solid waste streams in Canada. This waste comes at a significant cost: it is expensive to manage, poses risks to human health and the environment, and represents a missed opportunity to recover value from
discarded materials. Consequently, there are strong social, economic and ecological imperatives to both reduce the rate of CRD waste generation and increase the quantities diverted from disposal.

This guide provides decision-makers with high-level guidance for identifying, evaluating and selecting effective policies for influencing CRD waste management. This includes reducing the amount of waste generated by CRD activities, decreasing the amount of CRD waste that is disposed, lessening the environmental impacts of the CRD waste that is disposed, and
strengthening the markets for, and value of, diverted CRD materials.

Reducing the amount of CRD waste heading to landfill is a complicated task, and there is no single policy that can address the issue on its own. CRD waste reduction and diversion requires a comprehensive approach. Successful jurisdictions use a combination of policies that are tailored
to their unique regional political, economic and market conditions. Policymakers can leverage a three-step process for evaluating CRD waste management policies:

  • Assess: The starting point is to assess the regional context to determine the current state of CRD waste management and identify the materials and systems with the greatest potential for reduction or diversion.
  • Prioritize: The second step is to establish a set of goals and select a short list of strategies and policy measures that are most closely aligned with the regional priorities, needs and context. This may include setting diversion targets and identifying priority materials, construction life-cycle stages and actors for action.
  • Evaluate: The final step is to assess the potential benefits and impacts of each policy and decide on a path forward.

Toronto wants to power its trash trucks with food waste

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Written by Charlotte Edmond, World Economic Forum

Toronto residents’ trash will soon be powering the collection of yet more trash. The Canadian city says it wants to become one of the first in North America to convert biogas created from organic waste into fuel to power its refuse collection vehicles, generate electricity and heat homes.

The closed-loop system is set to be operational from March 2020, when the city’s food scraps and biodegradable waste will start being taken to a newly constructed anaerobic digestion facility for processing. The biogas released will be captured and converted to renewable natural gas (RNG) – and then injected into the city’s natural gas grid.

The system will significantly reduce the carbon footprint of Toronto’s waste fleet, with estimates suggesting the facility will be able to produce enough gas each year to power the majority of its collection vehicles.

Since 2010, Toronto has been gradually transitioning away from diesel-powered trucks to quieter, more environmentally friendly ones. The city has also constructed a number of RNG refuelling stations.

Once in the grid, the gas could also be used for electricity or heating.

A circular approach

Both biogas and gas created by waste in landfill can be upgraded to create RNG by removing carbon dioxide and other contaminants. The biogas produced from Toronto’s food waste is currently flared – or burnt off – which the city notes is standard industry practice, but does not take advantage of its potential as a renewable power source.

As part of its ambition to become a circular economy, Toronto hopes to create four RNG processing sites, producing gas from two of its anaerobic digestion facilities for organic waste and two of its landfill sites. Once they are up and running, the city says they will be able to produce the gas equivalent of taking 35,000 cars off the road for a year.

RNG is considered a carbon negative product, because the overall reduction in emissions from not using fossil fuels and sending organic waste to landfill outweighs the emissions from using and creating RNG.

The problem of food waste

Globally, food makes up a huge part of our waste. Around a third of all the food produced globally is never eaten.

Image: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

If food waste were a country it would be the third biggest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. When you take into account the carbon footprint created by growing, harvesting, transporting, processing and storing food, the waste is almost equivalent to global road transport emissions.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum. This article has been republished under the permission of the World Economic Forum under their Terms of Use. It was first published on the World Economic Forum website.


Windsor scores a 96% recycling rate in demolition of its Old City Hall

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96.5% waste recycling rate for old city hall demolition saves money, helps environment. Hardly anything except hazardous material went into a landfill from demolition of the old Windsor city hall, a recycling feat being hailed as “truly remarkable.

Most of the old city hall building has been recycled.

When the project began, the city was hoping to achieve an 80 to 85% recycle rate from materials left behind from the demolition of the old building, including crushing the concrete on site and reusing it is as backfill where the old foundation was removed.

This effort was made to save money on both backfill and the cost that would have been involved to transfer material to the landfill, not to mention the environmental benefits.

Budget Environmental Disposal, the contractor tasked with this project, reports that the actual waste diversion achieved was 96.5%.

Of 8,301.13 metric tonnes of waste, only 283 ended up in landfill.

City of Kamloops to ban cardboard in Landfills

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The City of Kamloops, British Columbia is the latest municipality looking to ban a recyclable material from landfill. In the case of this south-central BC community of 90,000, IC&I cardboard is the target.

In an interview with Kamloops This Week, Glen Farrow, the city’s environmental services manager, stated: “We’re still seeing some businesses, some loads coming to our landfills from some of the other private haulers in town, with a large percentage of all their waste is cardboard,” city environmental services manager Glen Farrow told KTW. “In those particular cases, why can’t that be separated? Why can’t that be diverted?”

Currently, the City collects residential cardboard curbside and delivers it to the Emterra waste processing facility, the only location in Kamloops that recyclings cardboard. Cardboard generated by the IC&I sector is collected by the City on a piecemeal basis. Most businesses pay to have their cardboard hauled privately.

The city is considering the ban on cardboard in landfills as part of a region-wide initiative,that will put the onus back on businesses to find an alternative way to dispose of the material.

“It’s the lowest-hanging fruit,” Farrow said in his interview with Kamloops Today. “We’ve been talking about commercial recycling for years and, based on the global markets, soft plastics, mixed paper — all those are challenging in finding an end market. The product that has the greatest value and the ability to be pulled out more easily from your product mix is cardboard.”

With Emterra being the only cardboard recycler in the City, there are issues when cardboard loads are not accepted at the facility due to contamination. If a landfill ban is in place, there will only be expensive out-of-city options for cardboard management.

Quebec: Food App to prevent food waste now at the IGA

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FoodHero, an app that prevents food from being thrown out is now part of the shopping experience at nearly 200 IGA stores across Québec. The FoodHero mobile app offers advantages for both consumers and stores owners.

It’s a simple concept: shoppers use the app to buy unsold products that are still perfectly good to eat, at prices marked down by 25% to 60%. One bargain at a time, consumers are saving on groceries and retailers are cutting both the economic and environmental (CO2 emissions) costs associated with producing, transporting and sending unsold products to landfills.

Downloads of FoodHero keep rising, confirming its status as a leader in this segment in Québec. For FoodHero founder Jonathan Defoy, the program’s popularity confirms the relevance of this tool, both from a consumer perspective and within distribution networks: “Food waste is becoming a major concern for more and more Quebecers, and FoodHero is a simple, concrete solution that lets them act on it, on a daily basis if they want. We’re very happy it’s been so popular with IGA customers,” he explained.

“We are very proud to collaborate with a Québec tech company such as FoodHero and we want to highlight the active involvement of our store owners in the program. Their efforts enabled us to roll out this anti-food waste initiative very quickly, offering an additional alternative to nearly 200 IGA locations across Québec,” said Carl Pichette, Vice President of Marketing for Sobeys, Inc.

About IGA
IGA is the largest group of independent grocers in Canada, and has been operating in Québec since 1953.

About FoodHero
FoodHero is a start-up founded by Jonathan Defoy, a serial entrepreneur with nearly 20 years of experience in the technology industry. He is supported by Alain Brisebois, a strategic advisor who has held several senior management positions at major retailers in the food industry. In addition to offering discounted products at participating retailers, FoodHero also calculates the CO2 “savings” by avoiding residual waste using a scientific formula validated by a firm with recognized expertise in renewable energy.