Surrey, one of B.C.'s largest cities (south-east of Vancouver) officially opened a new Biofuel Facility March 9th, located in the city's Port Kells industrial area. The $68 million facility is the first fully integrated closed-loop organic waste management system in North America. The facility will convert curbside organic waste into renewable biofuel to fuel the City's fleet of natural gas powered waste collection and service vehicles. Under this closed loop system, waste collection trucks will literally be collecting their fuel source at curbside. Excess fuel will go to the new district energy system that heats and cools Surrey's City Centre.
"Surrey has established a new sustainability benchmark in Canada with a state of the art facility that converts organic waste into renewable energy," said Mayor Linda Hepner. "The Biofuel Facility will be instrumental in reducing community-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by approximately 49,000 tonnes per year, which is the equivalent of taking over 10,000 cars off the road annually. This reduction in greenhouse gas emissions will also completely eliminate the City of Surrey's corporate carbon footprint of 17,000 tonnes per year."
The City owned Surrey Biofuel facility was established via a Public-Private Partnership (P3). 25% of the cost of the facility was funded by the Government of Canada and the remaining 75% was funded by Renewi plc. Based in the UK, Renewi is responsible for the design and build of the facility and will operate and maintain the facility on behalf of the City for a 25 year period.
The Biofuel Facility will divert 115,000 tonnes of organic waste from the landfill, produce approximately 120,000 Gigajoules of renewable natural gas and produce approximately 45,000 tonnes of nutrient-rich compost annually.
The Biofuel Facility was designed to meet future demand. Currently, the City of Surrey collects 65,000 tonnes of organic waste per year. The processing capacity of the facility can meet a demand of 115,000 tonnes per year which the City fully expects to utilize by 2043. In the interim, the balance of organic waste will come from the commercial sector and other municipalities.
Organic waste delivered to the Biofuel Facility will be treated exclusively "in-vessel" meaning that 100% of the organic waste will be contained and processed inside the facility. Integrated within the Biofuel Facility is a state-of-the-art odour mitigation technology that treats the waste odours. The end result is that odours are entirely contained within the facility.
The Biofuel Facility is the recipient of the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) Envision Platinum award. The Envision rating system rates sustainable infrastructure across the full range of environmental, social, and economic impacts. The Surrey Biofuel Facility is the first waste sector infrastructure project in North America and only the third Canadian project overall to earn the prestigious Envision award for sustainability.
The facility also includes an Education Centre and an outdoor interpretive compost garden that will be used for conducting school and group tours. The City of Surrey and Renewi are committed to using the facility to increase awareness of responsible waste management and the science behind composting, anaerobic digestion and the generation of biofuel.
Surrey's new Biofuel Facility creates more than 15 new, full-time, long-term, and family supporting jobs right here in Surrey. More information can be found here.
"Investing in innovative projects like the Surrey Biofuel Facility is vital to reducing our carbon footprint and establishing cleaner, more sustainable communities," said Ken Hardie, Member of Parliament for Fleetwood-Port Kells, on behalf of the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. "The Government of Canada is proud to have helped make this leading-edge project a reality, reducing harmful emissions while increasing the City's waste management capacity and promoting a greener way of life for residents of Surrey."
"This state-of-the art facility shows exactly how we've been able to use our international experience and innovation to create something unique," said James Priestly, Managing Director, Municipal Division, Renewi plc. "The facility brings our ‘waste no more' vision to life and helps us to play a connecting role in the circular economy. It is this waste-to-product approach which we are very passionate about and I'm delighted to see it coming to life here, at this flagship facility in Surrey.
According to Roger Dall'Antonia, president and CEO, FortisBC; "As part of our commitment to innovation and supporting local and sustainable energy, FortisBC is pleased to work with the City of Surrey in bringing their new biofuel facility online. The facility adds tremendous value to the community and expands the market for Renewable Natural Gas. This benefits our customers, by providing them with a solution to be more environmentally conscious, as well as all British Columbians through lower greenhouse gas emissions."