DURHAM: The Region of Durham Council has taken the next step towards developing a new Mixed Waste Pre-Sort and Anaerobic Digestion (AD) facility in Durham. Yesterday, Council gave approval to continue negotiation of a joint venture/co-ownership agreement with Epcor Utilities Inc., for the development of the Region’s Mixed Waste Pre-Sort and AD facility. The Mixed Waste Pre-sort AD facility with an ‘Energy from Waste’ plant, will be a first-of-its-kind fully integrated waste management initiative in North America. This system will convert food scraps into renewable natural gas and will use the residuals to generate electrical energy that can be used in a variety of applications. The proposed AD process will be odour and emissions free, thanks to a facility with negative pressure and the use of bio-filters to remove the odour causing components. Anaerobic Digestion is a natural process that uses microbes found in the environment to create a renewable natural gas. AD is a safe, proven technology used across North America and Europe. The new facility will be located next to the Durham York Energy Centre (DYEC) in the Energy Park. The proposed Mixed Waste Pre-sort and AD facility will incorporate sustainable development principles and complement the architectural design and landscaping of the Energy Park. Traffic into the DYEC will only increase by two waste delivery trucks when the Mixed Waste Pre-Sort and AD facility is operational. The new facility will only accept waste from Durham Region and will delay the need to expand the DYEC facility. Durham Region’s population is growing and expected to be more than 1 million people in the next decade. More residents will mean more garbage created for the Region to manage. The Mixed Waste Pre-sort facility will remove non-combustible material and recyclables to further increase diversion from landfill and extend the life of the DYEC. For more information on mixed waste pre-sorting and anaerobic digestion, visit durham.ca/ADproject. Questions and comments may be sent to ADproject@durham.ca. “This is an exciting project for Durham Region, anaerobic digestion has many environmental benefits that contribute to Durham’s climate change mitigation initiatives and allows us to continue to treat waste as a resource to generate energy. The Mixed Waste Pre-sort facility will increase our diversion rates by capturing items that should not have been placed in the garbage, while at the same time processing food scraps into energy and fertilizer products. It’s an initiative that continues to solidify our position as an environmental leader.” John Henry, Regional Chair and Chief Executive Officer shared. “This will be a one-of-a-kind facility, combining anaerobic digestion onsite with mixed waste pre-sorting, and will highlight the environmental leadership underway in Durham Region, as we become the first in North America to build a facility like this. The pre-sort facility will not replace or eliminate the current Green Bin program, instead, it will complement it by capturing from the garbage any organics the green bin did not capture,” stated Susan Siopis, Commissioner of Works.