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Metro Vancouver aiming to divert more waste from landfills, sell waste

Jul. 13, 2019

Metro Vancouver is taking steps to further reduce the amount of waste that goes into landfills by trying to find commercial uses for waste.

That includes seeing if the regional district can turn into fuel the wood waste dumped at transfer stations by small vehicles such as pickup trucks, which comes from activities such as yard cleanups or small house renovations.

One possibility is selling the wood as a fuel to cement plants.

Also being examined is whether the bottom ash created by incinerating waste — such as plastic — at the Waste-to-Energy Facility in Burnaby can be sold as an aggregate, possibly in cement manufacturing, as geotechnical fill material or in concrete production.

There is about 42,000 tonnes of bottom ash available, which is now being used to build the new Coquitlam transfer station.

There could be as much as 50,000 to 60,000 tonnes per year of waste from small vehicles and potentially a similar amount of construction and demolition waste.

Processing the small-vehicle waste could take place at the Coquitlam landfill, adjacent to the new transfer station.

Metro Vancouver’s zero waste committee heard Friday about progress on the two initiatives that will need further work to build a business case.

“Certainly, whatever we do, cost recovery is key. But the main focus is trying to divert waste from the landfills, to find ways to use that waste,” said Coquitlam councillor Craig Hodge, vice-chair of the zero waste committee.

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