Biomethanisation booming in St. Hyacinthe

Biomethanisation booming in St. Hyacinthe

St Hyacinthe (Quebec) 19 June 2015 – The process of producing methane gas from food waste is a reality in St. Hyacinthe and the city hopes to reduce its citizen’s taxes as an added bonus.

St. Hyacinthe is a smaller city located about halfway between Quebec City and Montreal. Last November the city inaugurated the province’s first methane gas producing plant which cost the city, province and federal governments $48 million which the city expects to recuperate in the next 10 years as production increases.

The bio-methane is produced quite simply from collecting the city’s organic waste (food scraps) and transforming it into a usable gas product which the city is using to power its municipal vehicles and its office buildings. This saves money for the city and inadvertently allows the city to either reduce or stabilize its tax burden on the residents.

It requires residents to separate their food waste in a brown bin which is supplied by the city; at the same time, food waste from several different food producing plants in the area contributes to the annual tonnage.

The plant was built with taxpayers money derived from $20 million from the province, $18 million from the municipality and $11 million from Ottawa. The plant takes in 10,000 tons of organic waste a year from the city itself plus 23 surrounding towns. When running at full capacity St. Hyacinthe expects to be able to sell about $6 million worth of gas to Gazmetro, the provinces natural gas supplier and save $500,000 a year on heating and vehicle operation.

The residue left over will be used to make fertilizer and potting soil. The process produces 50% less in green house gases than oil production, so the whole procedure is a win-win for everyone.

The next time you throw away that banana skin or those carrot peelings, just think how it could save you money in the future, because those brown bins could be coming to your neighbourhood sooner than you think.

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