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Turning our Waste into Renewable Energy

Halifax, Nova Scotia was the first large municipality in Canada to implement a green bin program back in 1998. We have had incredible success with adoption of composting and recycling programs, including a very high separation rate for our green bin organics. This is great, but are you aware that Nova Scotia has the potential to take this achievement one step further?

As a province that relies on a mix of high-emitting energy sources, including coal and oil, to keep us warm, we need to think outside the box for ways that we can reduce our carbon footprint. One of the ways we can achieve this is by producing Renewable Natural Gas.

Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) is a low-carbon fuel that is produced by capturing, cleaning, and upgrading biogas from landfills, organic waste, or wastewater treatment plants. RNG would be distributed through the existing natural gas pipeline and would allow Nova Scotia to turn our waste into renewable energy.

Here is a high level view of how RNG is produced and used.

RNG is not a new technology; it’s been used extensively around the world for many years, especially in places where conventional natural gas is fairly expensive like Europe and Asia. In Canada, several RNG facilities are already operating or being developed including in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, several projects in British Columbia, and in Toronto”.

RNG from organics management facilities, landfills, and wastewater treatment plants in HRM could potentially produce heat for over 5,500 homes or fuel over 400 transit buses with renewable energy.

Home heating and hot water is typically the biggest source of household GHG emissions. Heating accounts for approximately 80% of the energy used in a home and almost all heating fuels –  electricity, heat pumps, fuel oil, propane, and natural gas emit GHGs. Switching to RNG could virtually eliminate a significant part of your household carbon footprint.

Not only is RNG a green solution for future energy consumption but it can also be produced at a competitive or lower cost compared to other renewable energy sources like wind and solar.

We ask that you share this exciting opportunity with your friends, family and councilors. Join us in making a greener future a reality for Nova Scotia.

 

Want to learn more about other Canadian RNG projects?

City of Surrey – Surrey Biofuel

Quebec, Saint-Hyacinthe – Information sheet about RNG

Toronto – Turning Waste into Renewable Natural Gas