Clean Air Peel Initiatives
The Region has a goal of 70 per cent waste diversion by 2016. The following initiatives help to improve air quality in the Region:
Examples of Regional Initiatives
Seasonal Yard Waste Collection
Yard waste is collected bi-weekly during the summer months of July, August and September. In the second year of seasonal bi-weekly yard waste collection (2007), the number of trucks on the road decreased by over 38 per cent compared to the base year (2005).
Region-wide household food waste is centrally composted thereby reducing landfill gas emissions. 28,000 tonnes of household organic waste was collected and composted in the Region from April to December 2007. This resulted in an emission reduction of 1,516 MTCE (Metric Tonnes of Carbon Equivalent) and 5,560 MTCO2E (Metric Tonnes of Carbon Dioxide Equivalent). It also resulted in 773 less loads of waste sent to landfill in Michigan compared to 2006.
Biodiesel from Waste Vegetable Oil
The Waste Operations Section collects used vegetable oil at our Community Recycling Centres. The collected vegetable oil was used to produce 1,100 litres of biodiesel for use in Waste Operations vehicles in 2007. The waste vegetable oil is diverted from disposal and the biodiesel produced burns cleaner than fossil fuel, emits fewer toxins, and decreases ozone and smog. In addition, the Waste Operations Section has a fleet of 9 vehicles which run on the biodiesel produced from waste vegetable oil.
Refrigerant Extraction Program
The refrigerant extraction program began in 2005 in an effort to ensure that CFCs and other ozone depleting refrigerants from appliances were dealt with in an appropriate, environmentally friendly manner. The Region of Peel accepts appliances with refrigerants and removes the refrigerants using a mobile extraction unit that was designed specifically for our program. The extraction unit removes the refrigerants ensuring no release of ozone depleting refrigerants to the natural environment.
Landfill Gas Utilization Plant
The Britannia Landfill Gas to Electricity Project in Mississauga collects approximately 2,500 ft3 of landfill gas per minute. The plant has a total generation capacity of approximately 5.5 megawatts. This is enough to power approximately 5,000 homes on a daily basis for the next 20 years. The project abates the release of 250,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalents and 10,000 tonnes of methane annually. This use of landfill gas to produce green electricity replaces brown electricity and the associated air pollutants.
When the waste in a landfill decomposes, it produces a gas which is composed primarily of methane. Methane is a greenhouse gas which contributes to climate change. The emission of the gas from our landfills accounts for 25 % of the man-made methane emissions from Canada. Estimates have shown that over 25 Megatonnes (Mt) of CO2 equivalent are being generated annually from Canadian landfills. This is the equivalent to approximately 5.5 million cars on the road.
Source: Environment Canada