Duffering county courthouse

Dufferin County is considering an energy-from-waste solution for its garbage. The county studied a plasma gasification technology that converts waste into electricity, examining two options — 50,000-tonnes-and 70,000-tonnes per year — that might be large enough to be economical. Only the larger option, which could reduce landfill waste by 200 to 250 tonnes per day, was found to be feasible. It would divert as much as 90 per cent of waste from the landfill and avoid the cost of building a new landfill or of trucking waste outside the municipality.


Environmental Economic Social
  • Diverts 200 to 250 tonnes of solid waste from the landfill each day
  • Increases the county's waste diversion rate to as much as 90%
  • Provides stable long-term pricing for disposal of municipal waste
  • Feeds electricity into the power grid
  • Avoids capital cost of developing new landfills
  • Dufferin deals with its own garbage, rather than transferring waste to neighbouring communities
  • Makes Dufferin a leader in responsible waste management and electricity generation.


  • The cost of a feasibility study for a waste management project - especially for a fairly new technology - is challenging for a small municipality.

Lessons learned

  • Build for the future. If a 50,000-tonne facility is needed now, build to a 70,000-tonne capacity and find someone who needs to manage 20,000 tonnes a year until the volume ramps up.
  • The team should have dropped the smaller option from the study as soon as it was clearly not viable. That would left more resources for investigation of the more ambitious option.

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