Sunday, July 06, 2008

Garbage Into Green Fuel, Beat That Toronto!

When Edmonton first started their recycling program, very little could be included in your blue box. Now we have 5 times more blue recycle bags at the curb than regular garbage. I used to get tired of tin cans and plastic taking up counter space, along with my compost containers. Now I have a big blue bag at the bottom of the steps that I toss 95% of our garbage into.

Edmonton is about to go one step further. Ninety percent of our residential waste will be diverted from the landfill and made into ethanol, by 2010!!!

A new ethanol plant is expected to turn most of Edmonton’s garbage into green fuel by late 2010.

“There’s nothing like it anywhere else in the world,” says Don Pierce, executive vice-president of GreenField Ethanol, which will operate the site.

The 2.5-acre plant will be the world’s first industrial-scale fuel-to-ethanol facility.

It will produce 36 million litres of biofuel each year, which Pierce says will end up at Alberta gas pumps.

“Ethanol is cheaper than gasoline and, more importantly, it’s keeping the price of gasoline down by about 20 cents a litre,” he says. Biofuels are mixed with gasoline before they are used in vehicles.

The plant will turn landfill into ethanol by burning materials like wood, cloth and non-recyclable plastic, says Vincent Chornet, president of Enerkem, which is teaming up with GreenField Ethanol to build the plant.

The process creates an ash byproduct, which can be used as an aggregate for cement.

“If you do it right, you won’t have anything (going) back to the landfill,” Chornet says.

When the facility opens, 90 per cent of Edmonton’s residential waste will be diverted from landfill.

So, Toronto are you still trucking (tisk, tisk, think of all those GHG's) your garbage to the US?? Come on out here to green Alberta, you can take some lessons from us "conserv"atives. We don't just cry and whine, we "get 'er done". Bet Dion wants to tax that too, the green shaft is a tax on everything, and good for noone.

Question. Why don't apartment dwellers have to recycle? What makes them less polluting then us homeowners? Maybe you apartment dwellers can tell me I'm wrong on this point.


West Coast Teddi said...

We "apartment dwellers" (make that condo owners) recycle all the time but we have to pay for the privilege where as the "home owner" gets their recycle pick up for free. We even pay for "garden waste" to be picked up.

With 14 units in my building we have 4 large blue bins that are put out for curb side collection every 2 weeks. Garden waste is picked up during the heavy gardening months (June to October)at $17.50 per pick up and a monthly $5 bin rental. Total cost to recycle is about $1100 per year - cheap at the price and guess what folks?

I Am Conservative (shame on us right wing recyclers!!)

Babylonian777 said...

Toronto has an abysmal problem with garbage, I don't ever remeber any recyling programs there. I know our store never had a recylcling pick up, and never saw blue boxes or anything.

Mississauga has had recyling as far as I can remeber, and we do collect decomposables now, funny how there is almost no garbage!!! Most of it was food scraps. They should have been collecting food scraps long ago, our landfill sites would still be operational.

It a bigger shame we don't burn our decomposables for energy, it is extremly clean process common in Europe. As usual, fear mongering on the left would never have it. I think there was a big debate in toronto about that.

WCT said...

Hunter ... where is the plant (north west Alberta I think) that "incinerates" waste especially toxic? As I recall it has been in existence for many years and takes waste from all across the country.

hunter said...

Found it WCT, it's been operating since 1985, but the eco-nuts won't mention that!

Also, Alberta has more wind turbines than the rest of Canada combined, but you won't hear that!

I think condos are a bit different than apartments, from what I can figure out, people living in hi-rises in Toronto do not recycle at all, but they yap at the rest of us because they take a bus to work.

Archie said...

Hunter you forgot to mention the composting plant were I think 40%-60% of Edmonton garbage already goes to. They take garbage and turn it into usable compost. Alberta's milk containers are all now refundable. Edmonton has recycling since 1988 and the composter has been operating since 2000. This new plant will take the last 40% that has been dump in to landfills. What other city in Canada or in North America can boast that, and they call us dirty Albertan

As to apartment dwellers, the difference is that condo and home owners pay property taxes and they also pay a fee every month for garbage and recyclables pick up.

Ardvark said...

When this plant gets up and running, combined with all of the existing programs, the city is expecting a 90% diversion of residential waste from the landfill.

90%!! That would make Edmonton #1 in North America for residential waste diversion.

I expect Mayor Miller of Toronto to ban garbage in the near future so they can catch up. After all, a ban is working so well for Toronto gun crimes.

hunter said...

Thanks Archie! My husband went to the dump recently and was amazed at the changes, he wants me to come next time to see what they are doing. He says that they have at least a quarter mile of old computers and tv's that will be recycled.

Now, as a date, that doesn't rate very high on my list of things to do, but it is impressive that we are world leading in recycling and now green fuel, by 2010, that's faster than Dion can impose any carbon tax.

Edmonton has been composting for years, you can buy the compost to use in your garden, but shhhh, it's a big secret that the eco-nuts don't want anyone to know about!

NB Tory Lady said...

I am moving and will be very annoyed if I cannot continue with my blue and grey recycle boxes...I am on a roll now and could not go back to sticking them in the fact I want more options to should not be thrown out..I like to keep jars and glass but cannot use it all..would love to recycle the rest...isn't it a natural product?

hunter said...

Hope you are moving to Alberta NB Tory!

You can't recycle glass, or did I read that wrong?

hunter said...

Ardvark, that's too funny! Yes, let's ban garbage in Toronto! Now they need a special board to figure out what is garbage. Then they need a garbage police unit, and let's not forget the garbage registry. The tax opportunities are endless!

Anonymous said...

as you know, toronto is several times larger than than edmonton so clearly the challenges are far greater.

apartment buildings are being brought aboard the recycling program.

however, it is taking some time to implement. the logistics make it a difficult task. there are more people living in apartments in toronto than the entire population of edmonton.

Anonymous said...


toronto has an organic, plastics, glass and paper program that is very efficient.

we have had recyling programs for some time. your information sems rather dated.

Archie said...

Edmonton had the same problem about garbage disposal and they went into partnership with Transalta Utilities to make this composter. Transalta bailed out some years ago and I think their still in court about some things. I believe it's the biggest composter in North America. It has extended the landfill by over 15-20 years if not more. Edmonton took a chance and sunk a lot of money into it and it has paid off.

Toronto could of easily done the same thing, but they would of needed more then one. It takes the political motivation to do it. Simply put, they didn't get the job done. Now were have we heard that before.

It would surprise the people out East how much the people in Alberta are environmentally consensus, in some cases more so then the people in Ontario. Edmonton's track record proves it.

I know Edmonton owns a number of coal fired generator plants, but I guess we cannot be perfect. But we are proud Canadians, no matter Garth Turner says about us.

Raphael Alexander said...

That sounds like a great program. Ethanol from garbage is like something out of Back to the Future with Mr.Fusion.

WCT said...

Swan hills it is. They have been burning the waste of Canada for years but do'es the Liberals know it. Like No.

I know for a fact that the oil patch has been "environmentally friendly" for years but the MSM doesn't know it anf the ROC don't know any better either.

Archie said...

WCT I don't think the plant in Swan Hills handles all of Canada's hazardous wast. I think it was meant only for Alberta. There was some concern about the transportation of hazardous waste material into Alberta on our bad roads. Also other provinces had concerns of the wast passing through their provinces and some accident happening. I don't think the plant can handle it all and Alberta would become a dumping ground for all this wast.

Anonymous said...

I know for a fact that the oil patch has been "environmentally friendly" for years

Tell that to those living down river from the patch.

maryT said...

What will Toronto do when Obama bans garbage coming into the USA.

Anonymous said...

What will Toronto do when Obama bans garbage coming into the USA.
Same as Alberta will do when Obama bans dirty energy from tar.

Anonymous said...

It is indeed hilarious to read all this "but you won't hear that" lines attached to each bit of information given here. Surely Steve and the boys should have updated the talking points from the "we're so persecuted" martyr routine.

Good for Edmonton doing a trial on the latest energy-from-waste system from Quebec. I hope they have better luck than earlier attempts in other places.

Toronto's high rises are a major problem because the buildings were not constructed for recycling. Typically there is a small room on each floor with a single chute to throw garbage down. There is no room in there to stack recyclables. You can ask "why don't they take it down numerous floors to the bin", and some people do, but it is simply not the same as a trip to the curb.

Rich said...

Here in small town Alberta, Leduc, AB we are also doing our share with recycling. Each week we have two picks the first is garbage the second is our blue bags to be taken to the recycle depot. This just started prior to that we had huge bins to gather milk containers ice cream pails antifreeze bottle tins cardboard etc which we have been doing since the early 1990's go old fashion right wing ingenuity. We do not need a government to tell us what to do when to do it or how to do it.

Rich said...

WCT The Swan Hills plant has been in operation since the 1980's and I remeber that many oil well service companies had to dispose of their empty 55 gallon drums at the Plant. I also remember that Swan Hills accepted toxic chemicals from Ontario for disposal. eg PCB's

It is a pity that Environmentalist like the Sierra Club, Suzuki Foundation Greenpeace etc and MSM media do not do a little more investigation before reporting their drivel.

maryT said...

CNN has been doing reports on the oilsands all day, and the pics they are showing are much different than what the envirowackos show. Toronto should check out what those bad Edmontonians are doing with their garbage. Might educate them. Others will/do want our oil, but who wants TOs garbage.
Funny the media and dion/garth do not report the truth about Alberta's carbon tax, or how Syncrude has been reducing ghg or whatever it's called since 1990. We also have a cap and trade in Alberta. Difference is the money stays in Alberta and will not be sent east. Funny also how there is a great cry about a measly 2600 jobs to be lost in the auto industry, but nothing about the 5400 jobs at Syncrude alone, is the envirowackos shut it down. And our wages are much better than auto wages, and no unions to worry about.
Ontario can continue to prefer blood oil than oilsand oil.