The landfill site in Halton, located in Milton, Ontario, is the only operating landfill in the region accepting municipal solid waste. When “Bag 1” was placed upon the state-of-the-art landfill liner system during the opening in 1992, the landfill was intended to provide 20-years of disposal life. Much has changed since then: the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle) have gained continued momentum, and as a result, Halton now projects its landfill will last at least to the year 2040.
Before that was even mandated by the Province of Ontario, Halton Region went ahead in 2006 and voluntarily put in a landfill gas collection system at the Milton landfill that could keep a constant vacuum pressure on the buried waste to funnel the methane-rich gases to a single location for processing or use.
Initially, the collected gases were flared off to destroy them, turning them mostly into carbon dioxide (CO2). This action reduced the captured methane’s global warming potential by 21 times in terms of GHG effects. That is a big improvement, but the combustion energy was lost forever.
So a partnership emerged with Oakville Hydro Energy Services Incorporated (a local utility within Halton Region) that would see that energy used for even greater good: making green power and sending it into the local electrical grid. That complementary gas utilization facility was put in place by mid-2007 and — so far so good.
We continue to reduce our landfill’s environmental impact by capturing pollution in its tracks — right inside the landfill itself, and we have made a positive statement about Halton Region’s environmental leadership in adopting GHG reduction plans before they were truly mandatory.
It’s working well in our landfill and we’re not done yet! As long as people continue to create waste that needs to be landfilled, we will be capturing landfill gas and installing additional infrastructure in phases to match site growth.