Blackfalds Mayor Richard Poole is intrigued by waste-to-energy technology being considered by Sylvan Lake, but remains cautious.
Fogdog Energy Solutions Inc. has signed agreements with Sylvan Lake to build and operate what is known as a no-landfill disposal facility. It can convert 98 per cent of the 15 tonnes of waste now heading into the town’s landfill daily. Glass and metals would be recycled separately.
Fogdog’s facility — which it says would be the first of its kind in Canada — can convert almost all landfill waste into a carbon “fluff” that can be processed into hydrocarbon fuels such as diesel and gasoline. Provincial approval is required and the plant likely would not be operating for a couple of years.
Poole said the town has invited Fogdog representatives to make a presentation to council on March 18. An invitation was extended to Lacombe to sit in on the meeting.
There have been other waste conversion technologies marketed over the years, most notably in central Alberta by Plasco Energy.
The Ottawa-based company proposed a 200-tonne-a-day plant that was to use plasma technology to convert garbage into a syngas that could be used to generate electricity.
After nearly five years of stops and starts, and no actual construction, nine central Alberta municipalities that had banded together to feed their garbage to the plant pulled the pin on the project.
“That was a really good learning experience for municipalities,” said Poole. “I think we learned a lot.
“I think we need to take the same amount of caution here.”
Blackfalds chief administrative officer Myron Thompson said the town has taken a progressive approach to environmental issues such as waste disposal and is willing to look at alternatives to landfilling.
“It sounds interesting. There’s a little bit more action on these types of programs in Europe. But there are definitely some successes that have taken place that could also be realized here.”
“I think you have to go into it with an open mind,” he said.