“New” Bioreactor Landfill Technology is 20 Years Old

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Courtesy of SPL-Beatty Limited

Municipal solid waste landfills have gradually evolved to engineered, anaerobic, dry-tomb facilities designed to protect the environment. They present, however, long-term liabilities that require decades of care. Aerobic bioreactor technology achieves rapid stabilization of waste and offers many advantages over conventional sites, including the elimination of methane, a major greenhouse gas. The potential for generating emission credits and trading is an incentive for municipalities to implement aerobic bioreactor systems at both operating and closed landfills.Toronto has one of the oldest bioreactor landfills in North America. The Donlands landfill was converted to an aerobic site 20 years ago by means of high capacity gas wells. The aerobic conditions achieve in-situ reduction of methane without costly treatment or flaring.

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