IMG_0105Event Coordinator: Howard Wong

As part of the UBC CSCE Student Chapter’s sustainability theme for the month of October, we toured the Harvest Power Energy Garden, a waste to-energy facility in Richmond, on October 15th. The tour was led by Greg Miles, the Harvest Power Customer Relations and Outbound Sales Representative. Harvest Power is a waste-to-energy facility that has two main components: anaerobic digestion and gas-to-energy conversion, and compost creation.

First, our group was told us about how they use anaerobic digestion technology to produce power from the region’s food scraps and yard debris. This facility is the first commercial-scale high solids anaerobic digester facility in Canada. The Energy Garden reduces greenhouse gas emissions by about 9,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent each year and produces enough energy to power more than 900 homes in the region.

The next part of our tour focused on the compost manufacturing operation, which is a unique form of aerobic composting. Unique features include reduced energy costs, higher throughput, year-round production and high-quality, high-value compost. The system also features exceptional odour control due to a variety of carefully engineered processes.

The tour showed not only how the facility helps the environment, but how a facility such as this can become an integral part of a city’s waste management program. Students also noted the remarkable business opportunity that stems from being paid for the facilities inputs (receiving garbage) and outputs (compost and energy).

The UBC CSCE Student Chapter would like to thank Greg and his team at Harvest Power’s Energy Garden for taking the time to lead us on this tour, answering all of our questions and educating us on this remarkable method of waste reduction.

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