Waste

  Everything we use creates waste, which fills up our landfills and creates emissions. Methane and other greenhouse gasses (GHGs) released during decomposition account for 1% of Waterloo Region’s footprint. These initiatives are underway to divert waste and reduce emissions.

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A circle of green and blue bins

Green Bins
  • At least 50 per cent of residential "garbage" is actually organic (by weight) and can be recycled then reused as compost. When organic waste decomposes it creates methane which is a potent greenhouse gas and therefore diverting green bin materials avoids these emissions going into our atmosphere.
  • The Region of Waterloo has been diverting household organic waste from the landfill at a community-wide scale since 2010. This helps to create a reusable soil resource, reduce landfill odours and greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) as well as prolong the life of the landfill.
  • As seen in the chart below, since the base year of the Community Climate Action Plan, over 11,000 tonnes of GHGs have been reduced. Best of all, using your green bin is a good way to recycle more. It’s easy being green!
    Annual GHG Reductions from Organics Chart

Green Bins

 

A circle of natural gas being flared

Landfill Gas Flaring
  • The landfill gas collection system at the Waterloo site was established in 1994. In 1998, an electricity plant was constructed on the Waterloo landfill site in a partnership project with Toromont Energy.
  • At the Waterloo site, landfill gas is collected through a network of gas wells, horizontal trenches and several kilometres of piping installed in the landfill.  This gas is used as a fuel source to generate electricity.
  • Monthly, on average, the power produced is approximately 3,024,000 kilowatt-hour (2013). The electricity produced from the landfill gas is fed into the main power supply grid where it powers between 4,000 - 6,000 homes with green electricity.
  • Before the Toromont power plant opened, an approved landfill gas flare was used to burn off the gas. This flare remains in place to be used as a contingency measure. A second landfill gas flare was installed in 2010 to provide additional flaring capacity at the site, if required.
  • The average GHG reduction from 2010 from portable flaring is about 4000 Tonnes per year and has reduced almost 20,000 Tonnes since 2010.

Landfill gas collection and flaring

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