Metro Vancouver's Waste-to-Energy Facility has operated in Burnaby since 1988 and handles about 260,000 tonnes of garbage per year – roughly a quarter of the region's garbage. It is a mass-burn facility that turns waste into electricity (enough to power 16,000 homes a year) and recovers about 5,000 tonnes of metal annually. Metro Vancouver annually earns about $8 million from the sale of electricity and $300,000 from the sale of recycled metal to a company that produces reinforcing steel.
In 2018 Metro Vancouver introduced technological improvements to increase metal recovery at the Waste-to-Energy Facility by installing an eddy current separator to separate non-ferrous metals such as copper and aluminum from bottom ash. A second magnetic separator increased the recovery of ferrous metals.
Throughout its over 30 years in service, the facility has performed considerably better than the required regulatory emissions standards.
Metro Vancouver's facility undergoes continuous operational improvements and frequent upgrades and is equipped with state-of-the-art pollution control equipment, resulting in extremely low levels of air emissions. Stack emissions and air quality around the facility have been monitored since the facility opened in 1988. Emission summaries are reported monthly to the BC Ministry of Environment, the City of Burnaby, and the Fraser Health Authority.
The facility is approved by the BC Minister of Environment through an
Operational Certificate which sets requirements related to the facility's operation, including emissions limits, monitoring, reporting and publication.
See the Environmental Monitoring page to
view up-to-date data on emissions from the Waste-to-Energy Facility.
Interested in a closer look at Metro Vancouver's Waste-to-Energy Facility? Take a tour!
Book a school tour for grade 5 to 12 classes
on-line here. To book a tour for university groups or other interested community groups, call 604-432-6200 or email
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