Expanded London biogas company now nation's largest food-waste diversion plant

·2 min read

A London company that turns organic waste into fuel has expanded at its plant, making it the largest food-waste diversion plant in Canada.

StormFisher has built a third facility at its south London site, along Green Valley Road near the Hwy. 401, to make more fuel out of waste from across the region.

“This is adding onto the current facility, so it allows us to be able to support more customers in Southwestern Ontario, as well as produce more of the renewable natural gas from the facility because we have more processing capacity,” said Brandon Moffatt, vice-president of development at StormFisher.

The new facility, built in partnership with Generate, a sustainable infrastructure company, will increase the company’s food intake capacity by 30 per cent.

StormFisher collects organic waste from restaurants, grocery stores, municipalities and companies such as Labatt and Maple Leaf Foods, and turns it into renewable gas and electricity to sell.

It’s done using a process called anaerobic digestion, in which organic materials break down in large oxygen-free tanks that are heated to about 40 C. The method helps keep methane out of the atmosphere and produce carbon-negative fuel, an alternative to natural gas.

It’s a process that could soon be used by the City of London, which is expected to roll out its long-awaited green program in late 2022 and early 2023.

“As new customers come online, such as the City of London and their green bin program, our additional capacity gives us the option of being able to support those types of customers,” Moffatt said.

In addition to fuel, the digested organics are used to produce a more sustainable, organic-based fertilizer for use in agriculture, Moffatt said.

The 18-month construction for the facility was completed in the fall.

“We’re the largest plant in Canada from a volume perspective, and we’re one of a handful of plants that make renewable natural gas,” Moffatt said.

StormFisher has about 50 employees across the province, with between five and 10 jobs added over the last year, he said, adding, “we’re continuing to grow across Southwestern Ontario.”

The new infrastructure will help meet targets to reduce the millions of tonnes of organic waste in Ontario sent to landfills each year, most of which end up in Michigan, Moffatt said.

“This is another example of how we can do that cost-effectively (and) support the environment.”

The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada

Calvi Leon, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, London Free Press

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