Methane is one of the most important greenhouse gases affecting Earth’s climate. Last year Thompson-Nicola Regional District won an award for an innovative program designed to reduce the amount of methane coming from landfills. Now the TNRD plans to expand and build on that success.
During their March 10 meeting the regional district board of directors voted to authorize an application for approximately $1.7 m from the federal gas tax innovations fund.
The money would be used to fund treatment of landfill gas emissions, aerial site surveys and installation of solar powered equipment at the Clearwater, Barriere, and Chase landfills.
The first step in setting up a passive landfill gas oxidation system is finding “hot spots” on the landfill surface where landfill gas is escaping.
Oxidation beds are constructed by placing a filter layer of permeable material such as drain rock over the hot spots to distribute the landfill gas through the oxidation bed. The filter layer is then covered with about one meter of compost.
The bed might be enclosed in a wooden framework or dug in the landfill surface. As the landfill gas permeates up through the compost the methane is digested by methanotropic bacteria. Up to 100 per cent of the methane can be removed in this manner and in practice values in excess of 90 per cent have been measured.
TNRD worked in partnership with Alberta Innovates (formerly the Alberta Research Council) to develop methane oxidation technology for small rural landfill application under a grant from the Green Municipal Fund and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.