Integrated Resource Recovery Analysis

» Posted on Aug 4, 2017

Integrated Resource Recovery Analysis

Integrated Resource Recovery Analysis. In 2016, Stephen completed an Integrated Resource Recovery Analysis under contract to the Sustainability Solutions Group, to find opportunities to recover resources from waste in the Region of Waterloo. The Analysis compared options for the 100,000 tonnes per year of organic waste available in the region, and uncovered the following hybrid resource recovery concept:

  • Organic waste could be diverted to a “Regional Bioenergy Centre”, where it would be processed in an anaerobic digester to produce biomethane and fertilizer which would be sold to generate revenues. If the Regional Bioenergy Centre is located near an existing industrial organization, it could be possible to use waste industrial energy to heat the digester as a means of reducing ongoing costs.
  • Biomethane from the digester could be sold as Renewable Natural Gas to local natural gas utilities for distribution through their existing networks.
  • If the equivalent amount of biomethane sold to the natural gas utilities is used to run small Combined Heat and Power Plants (e.g. natural gas engines to produce heat and electricity), then the amount of heat which could be generated could provide space heating for an estimated 150,000 m2 of building space.
  • The report identified three areas of relatively high building density in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, where district energy based on such small Combined Heat and Power Plants could be practical and should be investigated by feasibility studies.
  • If the equivalent amount of electricity generated by the small Combined Heat and Power Plants is used to operate electric vehicles, an estimated 16,000 electric vehicles could be operated from this source, which would further reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in the region.


A high-level analysis estimated that such a hybrid concept could:

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the region by between 112,000 and 174,000 tonnes of CO2e per year, depending on how recovered resources are used.
  • Generate revenues of several millions dollars per year.
  • Provide over thirty full-time jobs.
  • Strongly align with Federal and Ontario objectives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.