Toronto - An international gathering of scientists, researchers, and industry experts meeting in Toronto endorsed the future of energy recovery (or energy-from-waste) as a highly promising way for municipalities to generate affordable and renewable power from post-recycled garbage.
Expert speakers from around the world presented their findings to a symposium hosted in partnership with the University of Waterloo, Columbia University of New York, the Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy (WISE), the Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA), the Canadian Energy-From-Waste Coalition (CEFWC), and the Ontario Environmental Industries Association (ONEIA).
"Modern waste to energy recovery facilities that are designed and operated in accordance with current stringent regulations do not adversely impact human health or the environment," according to Sarah Foster of CPF Associates, a Bethesda, Maryland based scientific research and consulting firm. "A comprehensive review of the many dozens of environmental and human health studies conducted over the past decade shows that energy-from-waste is a safe form of waste management and power production."
"Energy recovery has almost no measurable effect on human health," according to Sarah Foster of CPF Associates, a Bethesda, Maryland based consulting firm. "A comprehensive review of hundreds of environmental and human health risk assessment reports shows that energy-from-waste is as safe or safer than any other form of waste management or power production."
The study of energy recovery will surely be considered as part of the long-term waste management review currently underway in the city ofToronto.
"Ontario will need new generation sources by 2018," according to Power Advisory's Jason Chee-Aloy. "Energy recovery in the form of distributed generation may address some of this emerging supply challenge."
There is also broad awareness of the potential for energy recovery to serve municipal needs.
"Where waste meets energy is a critical point of policy convergence," says Greg Lyle of Innovative Research Group. "Public opinion polling shows considerable support for managing waste locally and generating power from residual material that would otherwise be disposed of in a landfill."
Symposium participants agreed that governments across the country would benefit tremendously from the waste and energy expertise resident in Canadian universities.
A collaborative energy recovery workshop bringing together industry and academia will follow the Symposium in Spring 2014.
According to WISE's Tracey Forrest, "Advancements in energy recovery through rigorous evidence-based science are critical if we are to realize the full potential of waste as a resource in a sustainable energy future."
Durham Region is currently building a new energy-from-waste plant that will come on-line in late 2014. Others municipalities are actively investigating the potential of the technology to service their long-term needs, including Peel Region, Metro Vancouver, and the communities of southern Alberta.
Please click on the link to access Energy Recovery Symposium presentations.
Download the media release below.