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Edmonton Waste Management Center Highlights MSW Fuel Technology

Date Posted: October 7, 2011

Toronto, ON—Imagine a world where our garbage actually powers the vehicles we drive.

An untapped source of energy.

Energy that would cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80%.

This is the world that's starting to take shape in Edmonton Alberta at Edmonton's Waste-to-Biofuels Facility and Advanced Energy Research Facility.

Unique technology, developed by Enerkem, can turn residual waste (remaining after recycling and composting) into advanced biofuels, paving the way for a new generation of clean fuels and energy.

Instead of occupying space in landfills, our waste is now becoming a clean power source for our cars, trucks and buses.

Diverting waste also reduces methane gas from landfills - a far more potent greenhouse gas than CO2.

At the Edmonton Waste Management Centre on Oct. 5, 2011, 200 industry, government, and media were able to see the innovative technology that is producing alternative fuels and chemical feedstocks by converting non-recycled plastics and biomass.

The educational tour was sponsored by the Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA), the American Chemistry Council and Alberta Plastics Recycling Association in Association with the Annual Conference of the Recycling Council of Alberta and with the support of the City of Edmonton and the Edmonton Centre of Excellence.

"This event highlights the fact that there are now technologies in use in North America that allow us to treat waste as a resource" says CPIA President Greg Wilkinson.

According to Wilkinson, "We hope to demonstrate that proactively managing residual materials within the context of an integrated system means we can find new uses for non-recycled plastics while on the road to steadily increasing landfill diversion.

"These technologies may include the conversion of solid waste to biofuels and chemicals and/or re-capturing the energy from waste for electricity and heating."

Edmonton is unique in North America as it hosts one of the few fully integrated waste management facilities on the continent.

The operation is expected to help the city increase its residential landfill waste diversion rate from 60% to 90% - a tremendous municipal success story.

The educational tour demonstrated leading-edge waste management technologies - from recycling to solid waste recovery - and showed how they can co-exist in an environmentally and economically sustainable way.

According to CPIA Vice President Cathy Cirko, "We hope to repudiate the old saying, "Garbage in, garbage out," so that in the future we are working within a plastics recycling paradigm focused on the principle of "Garbage in, resource out."

The Canadian Plastics Industry Association showcases initiatives such as the Edmonton Waste-to-Biofuels and Advanced Energy Research facility, designed to divert residual material including non-recyclable plastics from landfill.

At the end of their life plastics can have valuable future roles, as an energy source or to be reprocessed into other products.

Plastics are too valuable to waste and initiatives and partnerships such as this one are a prime example of what can and is being done to divert plastics and other materials from landfill.

For more information, call 905-678-7748, ext. 239.