Surrey Biofuel Facility is located in Port Kells. (Photo: Amy Reid)

Surrey’s Biofuel Facility wins national innovation award

Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators award given to projects that have a ‘significant and positive impact on the environment’

Surrey’s $68-million, state-of-the-art Biofuel Facility is now award-winning.

The site, which officially opened in Port Kells this past March, has received national recognition from the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA), winning the 2018 CAMA Willis Award for Innovation in the over 100,000 population category.

Surrey won the award during CAMA’s national conference in Fredericton, NB.

The award aims to recognize “the commitment of a municipality to environmentally sustainable governance, to protecting the environment and to combating climate change” and are granted to programs or projects that “have made a significant and positive impact on the environment.”

See more: VIDEO: Inside look at Surrey’s new $68M biofuel facility that turns food to fuel

“CAMA is pleased to recognize the municipal excellence demonstrated by Surrey for their biofuel facility,” said Janice Baker, president of CAMA and Mississauga City Manager, in a release. “And the fact that this is the first fully integrated closed-loop organic waste management system in North America.”

The facility is expected to divert more than 115,000 tonnes of residential and commercial organic waste from the landfill, producing approximately 120,000 gigajoules of renewable natural gas (RNG) and approximately 45,000 tonnes of nutrient-rich compost every year.

The energy will be enough to fuel the city’s entire natural gas powered waste collection and service vehicles, as well as provide a renewable fuel source for Surrey’s district energy system.

The largest of its kind in Canada, the city says its Biofuel Facility will be instrumental in “reducing community-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by approximately 49,000 tonnes per year, which is the equivalent of taking 10,000 cars off the road annually.”

This GHG reduction will completely eliminate the City of Surrey’s corporate carbon footprint of 17,000 tonnes per year, according to a release, and it will help the Metro Vancouver region achieve its regional waste diversion goal of 80 per cent by 2020.

The facility is located on city-owned property, but was designed, financed and will be operated under a 25-year partnership agreement with a UK-based company, Renewi.

The federal government contributed approximately 25 per cent ($16.9 million) and Renewi footing the remainder of the $68 million bill.

The city is proud of the fact it won’t cost taxpayers a dime, being delivered without any increase to municipal taxes.

“CAMA received a total of 32 award submissions for this year’s awards program,” said Jack Benzaquen, Chair of CAMA’s Awards Committee, CAMA Representative for Quebec, and Dollard-des-Ormeaux, QC City Manager. “We were impressed by the quality of entries and the projects being carried out by our members.”

CAMA is a national, non-profit association open to all Chief Administrative Officers and City Managers and any person employed in a senior management position that reports directly to a CAO. With a membership of over 600 senior municipal employees, from all parts of Canada, CAMA says it collectively represents “more than 70 per cent of the nation’s population.”

See more at camacam.ca.

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