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Regional Forum – Waste Management (Vancouver) [Metro Vancouver Future of the Region Forums]

I am attending the Metro Vancouver Regional Forum on Waste Management (in Vancouver) at the Morris Wosk Centre for Dialogue, as part of their series of forums on the Future of the Region.

Regional Forum on Waste Management (Vancouver) (09/15/2009) 
12:10 Metro Vancouver Regional Forum (Future of the Region) on Wast Management.

The meeting is launched by the Mayor of Delta, BC. She makes a series of comments on the opposing views on landfills, incinerators, etc.

“Our goal today is to share with you the work that we have completed so far and have a conversation on what this may mean to you and other citizens of the region. ”

12:12 Five panelists with expertise from public health risks assessment, air quality research. 5-10 minute presentation. Free-ranging discussion.
12:14 The forum is being videotaped.

The first priority is to reduce waste. It is the absolute overriding objective. Being aggressive in the reduction of waste, the recovery of some materials.

The Zero Waste Challenge began in 2006, looking at every possible way to reduce waste. Through 2008 worked throughout Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley Regional District.

12:14 55% diversion to 70% by 2015. Working with member municipalities. Hopefully we’ll be on that.
12:15 (comments above after “forum is being videotaped” are from Marvin Hunt, Metro Vancouver)

Konrad Fichtner (AECOM Canada Ltd). – expertise on solid waste management, special emphasis on waste treatment.

Management of Municipal Solid Waste in Metro Vancouver – A Comparative Analysis of options for Managing Waste After Recycling. Summary of Study Results.

They took over after the program had been developed.

12:18 Study purpose

What do we do after recycling and diversion? With 70% diversion, 1.3 million tonnes per year remain.

12:19 Tonnes remaining for treatment and disposal: 1.26 million tonnes after 70% diversion.

Study parameters

– Follow provincial waste hierarchy
– Balanced view of proven technologies
– Well referneced research into technologies and effeects
– Assumptions made and tested with sensitivity analysis
– Based on existing data dn facilities
– Comparative analysis to assist with decision making.

12:23 Technologies

– Mechanical biological treatment (MBT) [example MBT in Edmonton]
– Waste-To-Energy (WTE) [example WTE in Lille France, Metro Vancouver WTE]
– Landfill

Study Process

– Life cycle assessment
– Financial model
– Social aspects
– Eight scenarios evaluated

[Note – I don’t actually like the fact that the consultant said “you don’t need to want to understand this slide with the 8 scenarios” – THAT is precisely the slide that people would want to understand!]

12:23 3 key example scenarios
– Additional WTE capacity of 750,000 tonnes per year
– Stabilizze waste with MBT, then landfill
– Export waste out-of-region and landfill

All scenarios include continued use of Vancouver landfill and WTE

The LCA analysis for electricity production. Landfill gas recovery and heat from the landfill gas, etc.

12:28 Findings

– Transportation not key source of air emissions, major consumer of energy, displacing natural gas through district energy avoids GHG.

Findings social

– No issues with health effects from any scenarios
– WTE highest skilled employment
– In scenarios with increased WTE and MBT

  • Waste is dealt with where it is produced
  • Reduced transportation and energy consumption
  • Liability of waste not left for future generations
12:30 Roger Quan (Metro Vancouver)

Air quality in the Lower Fraser Valley airshed is generally good, and compares favourably to other North American cities.
– Management efforts have led to improved air quality over the past 15-20 years
– There can be short term episodes of degraded air quality

12:32 Apply a model – air quality models used to predict outdoor quality. In 2005 waste management contributes 0.8% of total NOx and 0.3% of total PM 2.5, 1% of SOx, 0.1% of VO C and 0.3% of ammonia.
12:35 Ozone levels for 2020 scenarios compared to 2005
1 – Large new WTE 86.14% maximum 7 hour concentration
6 – Local landfilling of MBT product – 86.19%
8 – Maximize out-of-region landfilling – 86.13%

No discernible difference between WTE, MBT and landfill scenarios.

12:39 Future waste management emissions under any scenario are comparable to present day and are very low.

Ambient air quality is not a determining factor in choosing between waste management options.
(I find this interesting)

Professor Jim Bridges
University of Surrey (professor emeritus)

Waste management: Public health considerations

The issue is risk, not hazard.

The intrinsic toxicological and other properties of a chemical.

The likelihood that, under the conditions of exposure, the hazardous properties will be manifested.

  • All methods of waste management involve the destruction of some chemicals and the creation of other chemicals.
  • None of these chemicals is unique to waste management.
  • The milder the treatment of waste, the less of the original chemicals are destroyed.
12:42 Assessing health risks from waste management methods

  • Based on exposure via air and food and the hazardous properties of individual chemicals
  • Measurements of chemical contamination around WMP compared to other locations
  • Epidemiology studies of health changes in local communities compared with others remote from a waste plant
12:43 The critical questions

  • Assuming a worst case scenario, how much is emitted and what is the likely dispersion?
  • Assuming a worst case scenario, to what levels could individuals be exposed to?

Benchmarks of exposure: fine particles

1. Emissions – 1 hr of emissions from the stack is equivalent to the emissions of 20 vehicles travelling 2 miles at a steady speed
2. Personal exposure – cooking on a gas stove or frying food such as bacon results in a much higher exposure than is possible due to a WTE performing badly

12:50 Bettina Kamuk
Chair, International Solid Waste Association Working Group on Hazardous Waste

12:50 Ramboll Project Director EFW
12:51 The European Perspective

European Waste Framework Directive
(Prevention, Reuse, Recycling, Other Recovery, Disposal)

12:53 Sustainable solution – WTE

  • Biodegradable municipal waste to landfills reduced to 35% in 2016 (base 1995)
  • Energy recovery
  • Substitution of fossil fuels
  • Reducing transportation – close to generation
  • Inert bottom ash

Treatment of MSW in EU27

12:53 – Thermal treatment (19%)
– Landfilling (41%))
– Recycling (rest)
12:55 CEWEP – Confederation of European Waste to Energy Plants

  • Represents 338 of the 420 EFW facilities in Europe
  • Treats 56 million tonnes MSW per year
  • Supplies electricity for 7 million households
  • Supplies heat for 13.4 million households
  • Avoids emission of 23 million tonnes CO2 eq comparable to emission of 11 million cars

Is energy recovering from waste evolving in europe?

12:57 High efficient grate technology (mass burn)
Few or no alternative technologies

  • Promising for many years
  • Failed operation

MBT is apparently the most costly option (Marvin Shaffer)

1:08 Risks and Uncertainties

– Energy values
District heat
Electricity price

– Volume

– Regulatory/legla/senior government intervention

– Costs
Ongoing fuel and operating

1:11 Overall assessment

– Key issue – short versus long term perspectie
– WTE – high energy values, especially electricity
– Landfilling – lower short term costs, growing and higher in the long term
– Risks – volume, etc.

1:14 There is a question/answer period, but I won’t liveblog it.


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One Response

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  1. kevinwilson2012 says

    It is happy to know that Vancouver established its forum about proper waste management and waste disposal. “The first priority is to reduce waste”, was according to mentioned statement above. True indeed, REDUCING waste is the MUST first thing to do.
    In the city of London, it is our task to implement the cleanliness of the London itself. We care for your house, commercial establishment, and industry. It Waste Rubbish Collection and Clearance, Removal and Recycling Service Specialists is what we aim to be.
    Waste disposal should be done in order, segregating biodegradable to non-biodegradable stuff. Learning the basic is a must and must be implemented as well.

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