The beginning of 2017 has been about focusing on a few key activities to keep our project moving forward. We continue to make progress, and thank our members for their ongoing patience as we continue to work through the challenges related to completing this project.
Specifically this means:
- We are very pleased to announce that we’ve extended our relationship with Bullfrog Power, as our Education Sponsor, for an additional 5 years and have been working together to bring on a co-sponsor to further support for our project and educational programming.
- Working with Miller Waste Systems and our legal counsel to execute on the 4 key agreements that collectively form our relationship. Negotiating and executing all of these agreements simultaneously is complex and time-consuming, but we have made good progress and continue to collaboratively work through the challenges with Miller.
- We initiated discussions with TREC Education, and an engineer who is volunteering his time, about improving and adding to our educational offering. This will include an update to the in-class workshop, downloadable curriculums for teachers to build their own digesters with students, developing content for signage inside the Zoo and at the biogas site, and building a portable digester to be used as a demonstration in the classroom.
- We have completed a feasibility study, together with a local farmer, exploring the costs and benefits of locating small storage tanks on the farms in the area and more regularly transporting digestate there throughout the year. The primary benefit of this plan is easier management of materials for the biogas plant and ready access to fertilizer whenever it’s needed for the farmer.
- And while we’ve been working on the project, the Ontario Government provided some additional information about their Strategy for a Waste-Free Ontario, which included a target to ban organics from landfills in 2022. This ban, which still has a little way to go before being put into action, would greatly increase the amount of feedstock that needs to be disposed of at compost facilities and biogas plants, like ours. The primary impact on our business of this change is that it will provide upward support to tipping fees on a per ton basis, as demand for our services will increase. More information about the Province’s strategy can be found here.