When organic waste – such as food, yard waste and paper products – is disposed of in landfills, it produces methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. This process occurs over many years, which means that the methane generated in landfills today is the result of past decades of organic waste disposal.
By installing landfill gas management systems, methane can be recovered before it can be emitted to the atmosphere. The recovered landfill gas is either flared (burned) or can be used to create low-carbon energy. Diverting organic waste away from landfills to alternatives like composting, anaerobic digestion and recycling, and taking action to reduce the generation of organic waste (for example – reducing food waste at homes, businesses and institutions), will also lead to lower landfill methane emissions over the longer term.
The Government of Canada would like your feedback on the outcomes that could be achieved through new federal regulations to reduce methane emissions from municipal solid waste landfills.
The discussion paper requests input on specific questions that will help guide the development of a proposed regulatory design, however, the key questions focus on proposed objectives for the regulations:
Should federal regulations be developed to increase the number of landfills that take action to reduce methane emissions? Which landfills should be regulated?
How can the regulations be designed to ensure that regulated landfills maximize methane recovery?
Should federal regulations be designed to require or stimulate diversion of organic waste from landfills?
Should federal regulations require or encourage the utilization of recovered methane to produce low-carbon fuels and energy?
Public INformation Centre
Environment and Climate Change Canada is hosting a virtual public information session to provide a summary of the discussion paper and answer questions.