Vancouver's proposed zero-waste innovation centre
In support of its Greenest City 2020 Action Plan goals, the City has submitted a proposal to Metro Vancouver to provide a site for a potential new non-incineration resource and energy recovery centre.
The proposed site is an option that would:
- Support Metro Vancouver's plan to move away from using landfills
- Divert as much recyclable and compostable material from garbage as possible
- Convert waste that is truly unrecyclable into valuable, green energy
- Help minimize air pollution associated with trucking and processing waste
- Create long-term local green jobs
The proposed location is a warehouse site owned by the City, in an industrial area at the foot of Main Street and Kent Avenue South.
It is a few blocks away from the City's Vancouver South Transfer Station, and is accessible by rail and barge.
If built, the site will continue to be owned by the City and leased to Metro Vancouver. Metro Vancouver would own and operate the resource and recovery centre according to the City's conditions.
Conditions of the proposal
If the proposed site is selected by Metro Vancouver, the City will ensure strict environmental and social criteria are met.
Key conditions for development include:
- No incineration of garbage
- Stringent air quality guidelines are met or exceeded
- Maximum diversion of compostable and recyclables materials from garbage
- Waste heat is captured for neighbourhood energy, minimizing air pollution
- The City's neighbourhood energy centre guidelines are met
- Proactive, comprehensive community consultation as part of the development process
Protecting health and the environment
Under the Greenest City Action Plan, Vancouver is committed to meeting or exceeding the most stringent air quality guidelines from Metro Vancouver, BC, Canada, and the World Health Organization.
The City does not support garbage incineration facilities, and would not allow the burning of garbage at the proposed facility under any circumstances.
One of the technologies that Vancouver would consider is gasification, which is different than incineration. Incineration burns solid waste to produce steam which generates electricity. Gasification is a non-incineration process that converts unrecyclable and non-compostable waste into a gas similar to natural gas, which can then be used to produce heat and electricity.