Creating space for transformative conversations


Waste to Energy, Low-carbon Future? June 24

June 24, 2014

Waste to energy is a popular solution in Europe and has been proposed as a potential option for managing solid waste and generating electricity in Metro Vancouver. However, does incineration fit in with a low-carbon future?

Currently, Metro Vancouver’s waste to energy facility is the largest of its kind in the lower mainland. Operated by Covanta Burnaby Renewable Energy, the facility turns 285,000 tonnes of garbage into steam and electricity annually, enough power for 15,000 households. Metro Vancouver is also proposing to build a $470 million waste to energy project to cope with future regional growth and is in the process of siting the facility. Opponents of waste to energy cite air pollution issues, and a dependence on a constant waste stream, which is counter to the goals of zero waste policy. Proponents believe that waste to energy is a responsible solution that generates electricity from a resource that would otherwise be sent to the landfill. This dialogue will explore the following questions:

How do we rectify the conflicting values of reducing waste and providing a reliable energy source?

Does waste to energy mitigate or contribute to climate change?

When: Tuesday, June 24 from 12:30 - 1:30 PM

Where: SFU Vancouver, 515 West Hastings Street, Room 1600

Registration: Seating is limited, secure your free seat by registering here

This event will be webcast live, courtesy of our partnership with the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions


Paul Richard, Phd, PAg - ‎Chair, Environmental Protection Technology at Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Paul teaches, among other courses, solid waste management and has recently undertaken a fact-finding tour in Sweden to investigate methane production from municipal and agricultural wastes. His research  include worm composting, which is being conducted in partnership with a university in Cuba.

Douw Steyn, PhD, ACM, FCMOS - Professor, Department of Earth Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, UBC

Douw has served as Associate Dean (Research and Faculty Development) in the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Principal of the College for Interdisciplinary Studies. His professional, teaching and research activities are in the field of air pollution meteorology, boundary layer meteorology, mesoscale meteorology, environmental science and interdisciplinary science.

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