Global environmental challenges
Enerkem Inc, a private company based in Montreal, wants to kill two birds with one stone — fuel your car while getting paid for reducing trash mountains. They say they can do it by using garbage and biomass as feedstocks for plants that make second generation ethanol and other advanced biofuels
Vincent Chornet, the president and chief executive, said that Enerkem and GreenField Ethanol has reached a deal with the city of Edmonton to take its trash. “They will pay us to take it away from them,” he said. ”Fifty percent of what we put in trash is not recyclable.” That plant should start making fuel in 2011.
Edmonton will pay less than it normally would for hauling away trash, Chornet said, but he wouldn’t say how much his company is making per ton for taking away the smelly stuff.
On Thursday Enerkem announced plans to take the process to the United States, which, it is probably safe to say, has bigger waste bounties. My city New York, for example, exports tens of thousands of tons per day of trash to states as far away as Ohio on trains and barges.
Earlier this month, I toured a Waste Management landfill in Simi Valley, California as part of our series on how companies are turning household garbage and other waste into clean electricity. For our full coverage, click here.
The landfill, which is about 40 miles north of downtown Los Angeles, surprised me at first because it didn’t smell and the 300 feet of trash was covered in dirt and grass. It looked just like an ordinary hillside.