The RDOS is working with Sperling Hansen and Associates, Metro Vancouver and the University of Calgary to develop biocover test plots on the Campbell Mountain Landfill beginning in the Spring of 2017. These plots will test the effectiveness of biocover to break down methane as it is released by the landfill. Methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, makes up about 40% of landfill gas.
In 2008, the Province of BC required larger landfills to install landfill gas capture systems. This involves capping and sealing the landfill to contain gas and then removing the gas with pipes. Analysis shows that the Campbell Mountain Landfill will never capture a significant amount of landfill gas. All the gas collected would be flared.
As an alternative, the RDOS has applied to the Province to install a biocover system across the entire landfill. Biocover works by using a mix of wood chips, organic matter and sand to create an ecosystem for methane eating bacteria. Biocovers are in place across BC but this would be the first use on a facility of this size for primary methane destruction.
If the plots are successful, the RDOS will cover over 8 hectares of landfill with an active biocover in 2018. If they are not successful then the RDOS will be required to install a landfill gas capture system. The biocover option has been estimated at saving over $13 million over the life of the landfill as compared to landfill gas capture.