biogas

ZooShare Biogas Project Goes Live, First of its Kind in Canada

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The ZooShare Biogas Cooperative, in partnership with the Toronto ZooLoblaw Companies Ltd. and EnerFORGE announced that its most recent project has gone live. The ZooShare Biogas Project is the first of its kind in Canada and an example of the circular economy in action.
ZooShare Biogas Project Goes Live, First of its Kind in Canada
Courtesy of ZooShare

It converts 2,000 tons of Zoo manure and 15,000 tons of food waste from grocery stores, restaurants and other businesses around the Greater Toronto Area into enough renewable power for approximately 250 homes while reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by as much as 20,000 tons per year. Additionally, after the incoming material has been processed it can be spread on nearby farm fields to support the growth of food the following season.

“ZooShare’s launch represents a huge milestone for the 807 co-op members who invested in the project and supported its development. We’re proud to show what can be achieved through cooperation and collaboration with organizations committed to implementing solutions that make a positive impact on our environment and community,” said Daniel Bida, Executive Director, ZooShare Biogas Cooperative.

For ZooShare and the Toronto Zoo, the project represents a chance to raise their game in the fight against climate change. Reducing GHG emissions, through the diversion of food waste and generation of renewable energy, is just one of the things the Zoo is doing to fight extinction, as climate change negatively impacts ecosystems critical for species survival. The two organizations are also working together to educate students and the general public on the value of biogas and the importance of properly managing organic waste.

The project is also a natural fit for Loblaw, Canada’s largest food retailer and industry leader in the fight to eliminate food waste. Keenly aware of the role the Canadian grocery industry plays in the issue, the company has reduced the amount of food waste sent to landfill from its corporate retail operations by more than eighty per cent since 2016. Loblaw credits innovative thinking and strategic partnerships, such as these, with their success to date.

“As food retailers, we know that the grocery industry plays a significant role in the creation of food waste and that’s why it’s incredibly important to us to be a part of the solution,” said Tonya Lagrasta, Senior Director Corporate Social Responsibility, Loblaw Companies Ltd. “Our priority is to make sure food ends up where it’s supposed to be – on people’s plates. But when that’s not possible, we’re proud to work with partners like ZooShare to find new and innovative opportunities for food that may have otherwise ended up in the landfill.”

For EnerFORGE, the project’s critical energy infrastructure partner, the ZooShare biogas plant will add to their strategic portfolio of low carbon energy projects and allow them to build new value propositions in the production of renewable natural gas, hydrogen fuel cells and carbon offset projects. Growing these types of projects will be critical to Canada’s goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

“Canada’s Net Zero goals will be achieved through advanced energy collaborations run by leading organizations committed to fighting climate change. We’re excited to be demonstrating this principle through our partnership with ZooShare, Toronto Zoo and Loblaws,” said Scott Barker, VP Business Development, EnerFORGE.

This project was also made possible by a Low Carbon Economy Fund grant from the Government of Canada, and support from other contributing organizations including Bullfrog Power, Octaform and Walker Industries.

 

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