To reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help Ontario reach its 2030 climate change goals, Waste Connections of Canada (Waste Connections) with the support of Enbridge Gas Inc. (Enbridge Gas), is proposing to build a brand new renewable natural gas (RNG) facility at the Waste Connections Ridge Landfill in the Municipality of Chatham-Kent, Ontario.
Waste Connections of Canada completed an Individual Environmental Assessment (EA) for the purpose of an expansion of the Ridge Landfill located in Blenheim so it could continue to meet the needs of its customers and community. The Notice of Approval to Proceed with the expansion was approved by the Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) in 2020. This enables continued non-hazardous waste disposal capacity for the company’s industrial, commercial and institutional (IC&I) customer base and the Municipality of Chatham-Kent.
As part of that assessment process Waste Connection evaluated different options for utilization of the gas generated at the landfill. As stipulated by the Ministry, landfill gas is currently collected and flared. This serves as an environmental control to reduce emissions and for odour control purposes, but the gas is not utilized in a beneficial way.
One of the commitments made to the MECP during the assessment process was to conduct a more detailed assessment how this landfill gas could be utilized in a more beneficial way. As the result of that review, WCC is proposing to build a new facility that will convert landfill gas to renewable natural gas (RNG) at the Ridge Landfill site. A portion of property at the Ridge Landfill site was also set aside (see site plan).
The new RNG facility would be comprised of an upgrading and compression system to upgrade landfill gas to an RNG quality that is suitable for injection into the Enbridge Gas mainline natural gas network. The facility will remove oxygen, nitrogen dioxide, carbon dioxide and any other compounds necessary in order to inject clean gas into the pipeline. A small portion of the Ridge Landfill site would be leased to Enbridge Gas for the construction of a new metering station to receive RNG from the new facility and to meter the gas into the main distribution network.
The RNG facility would require a small building footprint with some outdoor equipment. The enclosed building would house any significant noise generating equipment e.g. compressors. Outdoor equipment includes piping, vessels and an off-specification enclosed gas flare that would only be used if needed (the appearance of which will be similar to the existing flares on site).
While Enbridge Gas requires approvals from the Ontario Energy Board the key approval requirement for the RNG facility itself are amendments to the existing Ridge Landfill MECP Environmental Compliance Approvals: ECA# A021601 (Waste) and ECA#2395-BVDTGX (Air). These amendments are largely focused on any potential noise or air emissions that might occur in addition to those associated with existing site operations.
If all required approvals are in place construction could begin in the spring of 2023 and be completed by the end of 2023. Please see our RNG facility announcement and endorsement by the Minister of Environment in our News section.
The estimated $50 million investment in this new facility by Waste Connections will generate enough clean and renewable energy from landfill gas to heat the equivalent of over 18,000 homes (about 40% of Chatham-Kent) and offset greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) in excess of 110,000 tonnes per year.