SCC 2014 Highlights: Tour of PEI Energy Systems, Green Isle and Island Waste Management Commission

We have a transparent,
cost-effective solid waste management system to help
protect the environment. Our made in PEI system is
being used as a benchmark for other jurisdictions. We are the first province
to achieve 50% diversion for both residential
and commercial waste. In 2010 we diverted
over 60% of our waste. Now, if we included what we put
though our Energy from Waste Facility, which can’t be counted
for diversion even though we are using it to generate heat,
that number would be over 85%. Island Waste Management
obtains all the funds required to operate by our levy
put in place to each home, apartment unit and
cottage in PEI. It collects a fee for various
waste materials at our final disposal sites and at our
waste drop-off centers. The first 5 years, the
corporation operated with losses each year. From 2004 to present, the
corporation has shown a profit each year and currently
has retained earnings of almost one million dollars. We only have one provincial
land-fill in the province and it’s fully lined. We have a full
source-separated program. Every home and business in the
province is on our program. We have a central
composting facility. We also have a
beverage container deposit and return system. One week we will
collect the waste cart. The next we will collect
the compost cart. We don’t do commercial
collections. Island Waste Management collects
fees based on the weight of the waste taken
to the disposal facility by the commercial hauler. And we have a Green Isle
Recycling Facility where all household hazardous waste –
paint, chemicals, pesticides, automotive and disposal
batteries, electronic waste, is sorted and sent to
proper disposing facilities. They take blue bag
material, paper, glass, metal and plastics 1 through 6. They bale it and ship it
into recycling markets. Over 16,100 bottles per bale and
over 8 million bottles collected in PEI per year. We also have a
PEI energy system, which is an energy
from waste plant. We pay them roughly
$65 per tonne for them to take the waste. They turn that into steam
energy and pipe it underground to various facilities. 30,000 tonnes waste per year is
used to create heat energy for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital,
UPEI and other public buildings, reducing public costs
for heating and cooling these buildings. The by-product from that
process is high end fly ash and bottom ash that is
shipped off Island for disposal. Behind me here is the
main wood feed conveyor. It carries wood to the
top of the boiler house. It gets fed into the
boiler where it dries. You move it down
where it ignites. You keep moving it and
as it moves down through the cell you get the
ash and then you cool it. This is the wood fired system. The garbage is a little higher
energy content on a per tonne basis, but it’s much
tougher to deal with. We want to put garbage
in, get energy out, and have ash come
out the back end. The technology
is called two-stage starved air combustion. You cook the garbage
in the primary chamber. The gasses come up into the
secondary chamber behind you. You put oxygen in and
you burn the gasses off. The big thing on the
agenda now is waste reduction through stewardship programs. The onus is on the
manufacturer to pay for disposal of the materials
after they are done.

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