File image of DYEC.

Durham Region pauses Clarington-opposed waste project

Durham Regional Council yesterday announced it has made the decision to pause the Mixed Waste Pre-sort and Anaerobic Digestion (AD) Facility and cancel its procurement process.

The project was approved and is a key component of the region’s long-term waste management plan, said a statement.

The project has been strongly opposed by Clarington (see below in Related Stories).

“Unfortunately, due to the rapid rise in material, shipping and labour costs being experienced in the marketplace, Regional Council has agreed with the recommendation from staff to revisit the short and long-term organics strategy and report back to Regional Council in early 2023,” said a region statement.

Although the region may proceed with the project in the future, it has been paused considering current unsettled market conditions—recognizing that waiting for markets stabilization may result in a significant benefit financially to the project, should it proceed in the future, it added.

While the project is reviewed, the region will continue to rely on existing processing contracts and will review its short term needs and long-term requirements to ensure waste and organics are processed in a cost effective and environmentally responsible manner, it said.

“While every effort has been made to ensure that plans for the construction and operations of the facility support the region’s goals for sustainability, we recognize the need to continuously evaluate the many layers involved in a project of this capacity to implement the most cost efficient and optimal solutions to achieve our waste management goals,” said Jenni Demanuele, Acting Commissioner of Durham Region’s Works Department.

What is Anaerobic Digestion?

Anaerobic Digestion is a natural process that uses microbes found in the environment to produce methane, which can be collected and used as a renewable natural gas. AD is a safe, proven technology used within the waste and wastewater treatment sectors across North America and Europe.

The Region of Durham was planning a Mixed Waste Pre-Sort and AD Facility to separate and convert organic waste like food scraps into renewable natural gas—used to heat homes and power natural gas vehicles and appliances.

Mixed Waste Pre-Sort and AD is still the preferred solution for Durham Region due to its many benefits, including:

  • A reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Being a source of renewable natural gas.
  • Ensuring compliance with anticipated regulations banning organic materials from landfill.
  • Increasing diversion rates.
  • Deferring the need to expand the Durham York Energy Centre (DYEC).

For more information on Durham Region’s Long-term Waste Management Plan, visit durham.ca/WastePlan. For more information and updates on Public Works Projects, visit durham.ca/WorksProjects.

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Clarington seeks mediation on Durham anaerobic unit

Clarington asks Ontario for two alternate locations of proposed waste plant

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