Ashley Hyshka, The Runner
Surrey is undertaking a unique initiative by using discarded biomatter in green bins as renewable fuel.
As part of the effort to be more environmentally sustainable, the city recently opened the Surrey Biofuel Facility, a $68 million plant located in Port Kells Industrial Park. Food scraps and garden waste, which are collected once a week from the curbs of residents’ homes, will be left to ferment in enormous piles within the facility. The plant also has ventilation systems that prevent the stench from wafting outside the its walls.
In dry conditions, bacteria break down the biomatter over several weeks, causing methane gas to be produced. The methane is then captured and converted into natural gas, whereas excess biomatter is processed and turned into compost. The entire process takes approximately 90 days.
The natural gas produced in the biofuel plant will be used to fuel Surrey’s fleet of waste collection vehicles, and excess energy will be used to heat and cool Surrey City Centre. In addition, it will prevent 50,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases from being pumped into the atmosphere each year, according to a CBC report.