The Comox Strathcona waste management (CSWM) service will begin operation of the new landfill gas flare system at the Comox Valley waste management centre (CVWMC) by mid-January.
The first phase of CVWMC landfill closure project started May 2015 and continued into the fall with onsite work that included the installation of a gas collection system and flare. According to the region’s solid waste management plan, the CSWM service is required to close the existing Comox Valley landfill in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prevent air and groundwater impacts. The existing landfill will be replaced with a state-of-the-art engineered landfill slated for construction that will take place in 2016 and 2017.
The landfill gas flare system includes two large blowers that act as giant vacuums pulling gas away from the landfill to a candlestick flare where landfill gases are then ignited in controlled conditions. Typically, landfill gas is composed of approximately 50 to 60 per cent methane and 40 per cent carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide does not derive from fossil fuel, is part of the natural carbon cycle and is not considered a contributor to greenhouse gas effects. Methane, however, is considered a contributor due to its higher infrared absorption capacity. Therefore, flaring the landfill gas contributes to a reduction in greenhouse gases which has a beneficial effect on climate change. The gas flare is an interim solution that allows the CSWM service to continue to explore sustainable longterm uses for landfill gas.
The public will have limited visibility of the flare from the recycling drop-off area at the CVWMC and Bevan Road. The gas flare is located between the active landfill and the CVRD’s biosolids composting facility.
For more information on the CVWMC landfill closure project including newsletters that can be downloaded visit, www.cswm.ca/plan .