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Measures to reduce and reclaim residual materials help fight climate change by cutting down on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from landfill sites, which currently account for nearly 6% of Québec’s GHG emissions.
A number of initiatives have been put in place to give new life to materials that can be recycled or reclaimed. The main objective of the Québec Policy on Residual Materials is to make Québec a waste-free society. It is also important to make manufacturers accountable for their products whose lifecycle emits GHGs, particularly in the refrigeration and air conditioning sectors.
The search for alternatives to landfilling stimulates innovation, creates jobs, and develops niches of excellence. One of these alternatives, biomethanization, is a top priority. The Program for Processing Organic Matter by Biomethanization and Composting (in French) provides financial support to help municipalities and businesses build facilities for treating organic waste using these processes.
Regulation respecting the landfilling and incineration of residual materials (in French). This regulation, in effect since 2006, has helped reduce GHG emissions and dispose of thousands of tons of residual materials (12.9 megatons in 2012–2013) at a number of landfill sites that collect and then burn or otherwise reclaim the resulting biogas.
Funding for a biogas plant (in French). The Québec government awarded an $11,478,342 grant to Rivière-du-Loup–based Société d’économie mixte d’énergie renouvelable (SÉMER) to build facilities to process 25,742 tons of organic matter a year and convert them into biogas. The 3 million m3 of biogas produced annually will reduce CO2 emissions by an estimated 8,000 tons a year and supply Gaz Métro’s Blue Road network of natural gas refueling stations.
Second phase of a project to build additional facilities for converting organic matter to biogas (in French). Saint-Hyacinthe received $14,389,571 from the Québec government to build a facility to process 132,000 wet tons of residual materials. Annual biogas production should amount to 6 million m3 in the first few years and could eventually reach up to 13 million m3.