|In 2007, we diverted the equivalent recyclables of more than five million trees from landfills, beneficially reused more than two million tires, generated enough equivalent energy to power approximately 17,500 homes annually, and invested millions of dollars to upgrade our fleet and make our trucks as environmentally responsible as possible. We did all of this because it was the right thing to do. Our corporate challenge is the same challenge that we all face as citizens – trying our best to harmonize with nature and preserve the world for our children. We are addressing the future by adopting sustainable practices throughout our operations. As the operator of 22 landfill sites in Canada and the U.S., we are in a position to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and are putting in place the technology to do just that.
We operate landfill gas recovery systems at six landfill sites and will implement similar systems at several of our other sites in 2008. On our two largest landfill sites – Seneca Meadows in central New York and Lachenaie outside Montreal – we operate landfill gas-to-energy plants. Seneca Meadows and Lachenaie are at the forefront of landfill innovation.
At Seneca Meadows, 18 generators produce 17 megawatts of electricity per hour. We have also dedicated 200 acres to a “Renewable Resource Park” which will be home to businesses such as H2Gro, a hydroponic greenhouse company that will use the heat from the engines in our waste-to-energy plant to produce vegetables. In 2007 we received a permit that extends the life of Seneca Meadows into 2023, allowing us to continue serving the needs of the New York population and contributing to the Seneca Falls community.
At Lachenaie, our gas recovery systems provide a capture rate of emissions in excess of 90%. From our engine building onsite, we generate four megawatts of electricity per hour, enough to power 2,500 homes annually, and deliver much of this energy straight into the Quebec electrical grid.
Seneca Meadows and Lachenaie are just two examples of how landfills can make a difference for the environment.
Going forward, we plan to build gas-to-energy plants at our other sites as our landfills develop, and we will continue seeking out and developing new technologies to improve the environmental performance of all of our landfills. For example, at our Calgary, Alberta landfill, we are introducing a methane oxidation process to reduce methane greenhouse gas emissions.
For BFI Canada and IESI, the environment and the community are synonymous: care for the environment, and the communities we serve benefit and prosper; treat our communities with respect, and the environment will be safeguarded. This doesn’t just mean being first-rate environmental stewards; it means raising the profile of the environment in our communities and raising awareness among our employees and our neighbours. Helping to make our communities a better place to live benefits us all.
Contributing to Our Communities
Giving back in more ways than one is our way of being a good neighbour. We are proud of the resources we bring to our communities.
In all of our communities, we work with local suppliers and contractors to create and sustain local jobs. We make donations, both at the corporate and local level, to many charitable organizations. We typically provide hosting fees to the local communities in which we operate landfills, which has helped build community centres, skating rinks and libraries. And every year, we offer scholarships to students of environmental technology and environmental science.
Aside from financial contributions, we also donate our resources. Our people volunteer their time to clean-up projects in their cities and to local clubs and boards. We also give of our time to teach. We have worked in partnership with school boards and schools in both Canada and the U.S. to enhance their environmental curriculum.
At our Lachenaie landfill site, we have reached thousands of students through our Mobius program and taught them about the benefits of recycling. At Seneca Meadows, we are constructing a community education center that is scheduled to open in 2008. It will include a fully equipped science laboratory and an educational exhibit room that will educate students and other members of the community about wetlands, recycling, waste management, alternative energy, environmental protection and environmental monitoring.
Pierre L'Heureux Power Plant Opoerator, BFI Canada
Pete Janis Materials Recycling Facility Manager, IESI
Toronto District employees Mike Canal (left) and Michelle Macgregor (right), present a a donation to Mary Jardine (center), CEO of Make-A-Wish Canada