WM wins Sustainable Action Award for
innovative project

Landfill gas used to power homes, grow tomatoes

DRUMMONDVILLE, Quebec – On Feb. 4, Waste Management’s Saint Nicéphore facility
received an award of excellence for a project that uses naturally occurring landfill gas
to do two things: 

  1. Produce electricity for Hydro –Québec, a local utility
  2. Use residual heat created during energy conversion to maintain the temperature
    at a local greenhouse

The recognition took place during the Energia Gala, sponsored by the Quebec Association
for Energy Advancement (AEEA), during which members of WM’s local operations
provided comments.

“We achieved in Drummondville a unique project for Canada that embodies energy efficiency,”
said Daniel Brien, area director of post-collection operations. “We are more motivated than ever
to continue investing in new green energy projects by extracting value from our facilities to
stimulate sustainable development projects in the region.”

Landfill gas conversion

The Saint Nicéphore project makes double use of the same energy. WM first extracts gas from
the landfill, produced when waste naturally decomposes, and then converts it into a fuel that can
be used to power generators. At this facility, WM generates 7.6 megawatts of electricity for
Hydro-Quebec – enough to power approximately 6,500 homes.

During the process to create electricity, water is used to cool the generators. This liquid is then piped
to the Demers Greenhouses, located next to the property, where it’s used as part of the heating system.
Doing this ensures an ideal temperature for the production of tomatoes, even during the harsh Canadian winters.

The environmental benefits from this project are significant. In fact, this process dramatically reduces the
consumption of diesel — traditionally used to heat greenhouses — by more than 500,000 gallons annually.

This is the equivalent of removing more than 15,000 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere and contributes to a
greener crop. The Demers Greenhouses operate year-round, providing Canadians with a product that would
normally need to be imported from Mexico or South America, further reducing greenhouse gases.

The Energia awards recognize excellence and celebrate the genius of energy efficiency projects in categories
related to buildings, technological innovation, industrial or manufacturing processes, transportation, integrated
management and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Forty-five finalists were selected from
hundreds of submissions.

PHOTO: Daniel Brien, Area Director of Post-Collection Operations (right) and Jacques Demers, president of
Demers Greenhouses (center) accept the award from Christian Perron, representing the Quebec
Association for Energy Advancement.