The City of Edmonton presently collects and processes about 230,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste (MSW) and recyclables per year at the composting and materials recovery facilities located at the Edmonton Waste Management Centre. Over 60% of the waste materials that are brought to the facilities are recycled and composted. Remaining residuals from both the composting and materials recovery facilities have little value in terms of being further recycled and are currently being landfilled. The residuals do have a significant calorific value and have the potential to produce enough electricity to provide 100% of the power and heating for facilities at the Edmonton Waste Management Centre (EWMC), with remaining energy for adjacent developments. The City is considering advanced thermal treatment (not conventional incineration) of the residual waste (after recycling and composting) as a way to close the loop in waste management in terms of minimizing waste materials that are landfilled and reducing the net energy requirement for waste processing and disposal to nil. Other renewable biomass waste streams (e.g.: wood or agricultural waste) could complement operation of the facility and make it more economically viable (economies of scale). There are also other environmental benefits such as reductions in the overall greenhouse gas (GHG) and other harmful emissions by displacement of fossil fuel as an energy source.

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