Landfill Gas Collection Revenue in Peril?


London was one of only four municipalities that were selected in a nation-wide competition to receive funding for a methane collection/combustion project. The city gets ERC’s (Emission Reduction Credits) from the feds for flaring (burning off) methane at the W12A landfill site.

Landfill gas is generated at city landfills when bacteria decomposes garbage. It is one of the major man-made sources of methane emissions. Methane is a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. So burning it before it escapes into the atmosphere makes some sense.

Last time I checked, I think the city was getting a tad more than $100,000/yr. But the pilot project ends this year, at which time we could trade those same ERC’s on one of the financial markets for $1 million or more.

Enter the McGuinty government. According to a recent staff report, the Grits at Queen’s Park have proposed a regulation that would mandate landfill gas collection at active landfills and which would eliminate that lucrative revenue stream.


Oops! I forgot to mention that there’s an alternative to simply burning the methane which is perhaps even better, and that’s using it to produce heat and electricity (called Waste Derived Energy). Of course, I don’t pretend to know a lot about this stuff, and I’m not forgetting the controversy that surrounded the Victoria Hospital ‘Energy From Waste’ plant. Whether or not they’re different technologies, I can’t say. Maybe someone can tell me?

2006 NPRI and MOE Air Emission report
Air Quality in London: Moving Forward Locally
Solid Waste Management
Turning Trash Into Power

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One Response to “Landfill Gas Collection Revenue in Peril?”

  1. jonolan Says:

    Gods, that’s stupid! Flaring the gas is such waste. They could be harnessing that energy instead. Los Angeles uses their landfills for power generation.

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