Imagine a future in which humans no longer worry about the collective carbon footprint. This could be a reality if individual and collective efforts are made to implement sustainable solutions, such as sourcing energy from the sun, wind, and geothermal plants. In Toronto, Canada, progress is already occurring to turn waste into energy. In fact, by 2020, all garbage trucks in the city will be powered by the rubbish they collect.
The newsworthy development was made possible with the construction of the Dufferin Solid Waste Management facility. Beginning in March of next year, the Toronto garbage trucks will collect all of the organic waste and food scraps from the Toronto Green Bins. After the scraps are dropped off at the facility, employees will capture the biogas produced from the waste and transform it into renewable natural gas (RNG). Before departing, the fleet of garbage trucks will fill up their fuel tanks with RNG.
“RNG is also less expensive and more environmentally friendly than fossil fuels such as diesel. Once injected into the natural gas pipeline, it can be used to fuel vehicles or provide electricity or heat to homes and businesses,” said city officials.
“RNG generated from food waste is actually considered carbon-negative, because the reduction in emissions by not extracting and burning petroleum-based fuel, and the emissions avoided by not sending organics to landfill, exceed the direct emissions associated with the production and use of RNG.”
Past reports have estimated that 10 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in Toronto are generated by garbage, primarily food waste. Once the Dufferin facility is in action, experts estimate that approximately 3.2 million cubic meters of RNG will be produced each year. In effect, roughly 9,000 tonnes of CO2 will be prevented from ending up in the atmosphere. According to GoodNewsNetwork, the close-looped system is just one of the four of the city’s pre-planned waste-to-RNG production schemes for the coming years.
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