Milestone Biofuel Facility to Power Natural Gas Waste-Collection Trucks

biofuel facility

A new biofuel facility has opened in the Port Kells industrial area of Surrey, British Columbia. According to the City of Surrey, the C$68 million facility is the first fully integrated closed-loop organic waste management system in North America.

The facility will convert curbside organic waste into renewable biofuel to fuel the city’s fleet of natural gas-powered waste-collection and service vehicles. Under this closed-loop system, waste-collection trucks will be collecting their fuel source at curbside. Excess fuel will go to the new district energy system that heats and cools Surrey’s City Centre.

“Surrey has established a new sustainability benchmark in Canada with a state-of-the-art facility that converts organic waste into renewable energy,” says Mayor Linda Hepner. “The biofuel facility will be instrumental in reducing community-wide greenhouse-gas emissions by approximately 49,000 [metric tons] per year, which is the equivalent of taking over 10,000 cars off the road annually. This reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions will also completely eliminate the City of Surrey’s corporate carbon footprint of 17,000 [metric tons] per year.”

The city-owned facility was established via a public-private partnership; 25% of the cost of the facility was funded by the government of Canada, and the remaining 75% was funded by Renewi plc. Based in the U.K., Renewi, responsible for the design and build of the facility, will operate and maintain it on behalf of the city for a 25-year period.

The facility will divert 115,000 metric tons of organic waste from the landfill, produce approximately 120,000 Gigajoules of renewable natural gas and produce approximately 45,000 metric tons of nutrient-rich compost annually, according to the city.

Currently, the City of Surrey collects 65,000 metric tons of organic waste per year. The processing capacity of the new facility can meet a demand of 115,000 metric tons per year, which the city fully expects to use by 2043. In the interim, the balance of organic waste will come from the commercial sector and other municipalities.

Delivered organic waste will be treated exclusively “in-vessel,” meaning that 100% will be contained and processed inside the facility. The facility also includes an odor-mitigation technology, an education center, and an outdoor compost garden that will be used for conducting school and group tours. The City of Surrey and Renewi are committed to using the facility to increase awareness of responsible waste management and the science behind composting, anaerobic digestion and the generation of biofuel. The facility also creates more than 15 full-time, long-term jobs in the city.

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