Esquimalt moves closer to gasification of its waste following study

Esquimalt moves closer to gasification of its waste following study
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It’s a bi-weekly ritual up and down Vancouver Island, including for residents of the Township of Esquimalt — putting out the recycling and garbage for pick up.

In Esquimalt, however, they are planning for the future, according to Mayor Barb Desjardins.

“This would be a game-changer in terms of climate action,” she said on Thursday.

The municipality is taking a look at a gasification plant for its garbage, kitchen scraps and yard waste as an alternative to the current system.

Typically, that material comes into the works yard and then it’s trucked to the landfill.

With the gasification system, a plant located in Esquimalt would convert that waste into usable products instead, as this YouTube video, “Enerkem is Building the Bioeconomy“, explains.

“It converts carbon-rich residues, such as municipal solid waste into a synthetic gas. once cleaned and conditioned, this gas is converted into bio-fuels, and renewable chemicals,” the video suggests.

Oxygen and steam react with the waste turning it into a gas made up of carbon monoxide and other elements. There’s no toxic ash or fumes, just steam.

Esquimalt says the plant would have the option to expand using module components, so Esquimalt could process other municipalities’ waste as well.

Desjardins said the plant could potentially heat new homes built along Esquimalt Road in the future and that the Township would consider adding other municipalities’ waste.

“Significant reduction of 29,000 cars taken off the roads would be the equivalent of this plant up and running and doing this,” Desjardins said. “An efficient way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on fossil energy.”

A proposal is still a number of years away, but the CRD is supporting Esquimalt’s plan for a business plan for the project in the hopes to expand the technology to the region.

READ MORE: Victoria’s ‘poop problem’ is temporary and fixable, says CRD

Mary GriffinMary Griffin

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