News | September 14, 2023

The Government Of Canada Invests In Cleaning Up Canada's Landfill Emissions

Gatineau, QC /CNW/ - Methane 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.

Today, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced more than $575,000 to support a total of five projects. These 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.

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

"Canada has made great strides in reducing methane emissions, but more work must be done to halt the short-term damage of this potent greenhouse gas. Tackling methane emissions from landfills will help clean our air and achieve the Government of Canada's 2030 target to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions by 40–45 percent below 2005 levels. Successful demonstration of these technologies will provide Canadian landfill operators more tools to monitor landfill methane, identify leaks, and improve landfill gas recovery."

– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Quick facts

  • In October 2021, Canada announced its support for the Global Methane Pledge.
  • In Canada, the main sources of methane emissions are oil and gas (38 percent of total methane emissions), agriculture (30 percent), and municipal landfills (23 percent).
  • The Government of Canada is developing new federal regulations to increase the number of landfills that collect and treat methane, and ensure that existing systems capture as much methane as possible.
  • To help achieve Canada's greenhouse gas and methane reduction goals, landfills must capture more of the methane they generate.

Associated links

Environment and Climate Change Canada's Twitter page

Environment and Climate Change Canada's Facebook page

Source: Environment and Climate Change Canada

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