Timmins joins northern cities in reducing landfill gas emissions
Decomposing trash in landfills causes greenhouse gases like methane and carbon dioxide to vent into the atmosphere— and the City of Timmins is now installing a system that can reduce those emissions at one of its largest landfills.
The Deloro landfill is over 350,000 square meters in size and the province requires facilities that large to install a gas collection system that can properly dispose of methane gas, one of the more potent greenhouse gases.
The city's manager of environmental services and public utilities, Scott Tam, said details are now being finalized for a Kitchener-based company to install such a system at a price tag of around $2.4 million.
"Basically what we're going to do is instead of venting off into the natural environment, we're going to collect it into one point system and basically flare it off," said Tam.
Flaring is a method of controlled burning that destroys methane. It also results in some CO2 emissions but experts say between the two, raw methane is more dangerous.
Though it's not required of municipalities, Tam said the city wants to eventually install a system that can use the methane collected to heat buildings, power equipment, or sell off to companies.
"At some point in the future (we could) potentially convert it into some type of renewable, self-sustaining energy facility at the landfill itself," Tam said.
Timmins is now more caught up with other northern cities like Sudbury, Sault Ste Marie, and North Bay, which have had gas collection systems at some of their landfills for years.