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Reducing the Carbon Emissions and Cost of Municipal Infrastructure Through Industrial Ecology

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The results of a 2010 study resource recovery completed by a cross–functional team1 of specialists in ecology, engineering, economics, and governance in Vancouver, Canada are described. The Integrated Resource Recovery Study, Metro Vancouver North Shore Communities (referred to in this paper as the North Shore Study) modelled the value of reclaimed water, electricity, and heat that could be recovered from solid waste, and liquid waste, and industrial waste heat in an integrated manner. Modelling was based on research into actual sources of liquid and solid waste, and markets for the resources that could be recovered from these sources. The results of the study suggest that an integrated approach to recovering value from waste could reduce the community's greenhouse gas emissions by 23% to 27%. In addition, revenues from sales of recovered heat, water, fertilizer and greenhouse gas credits could significantly reduce the cost of wastewater treatment and solid waste management to taxpayers.

Keywords: Integrated resource recovery; anaerobic digestion; cogeneration; community energy; district energy; gasification; greenhouse gas reduction; industrial ecology; reclaimed water; solid waste diversion; waste-to-energy; wastewater treatment

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2011-01-01

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