All about organic waste diversion at Seacliff Energy

Thursday February 1, 2024

For some Ontarians, putting our food waste in the green bin is second nature. But there are many municipalities and buildings that don’t offer this service – an issue that the province’s organic waste diversion program hopes to address.

Ontario aims to reduce or recover 50-70% of its food waste by 2025, but currently has only a third of the infrastructure needed to accept the diverted waste.

Bullfrog Power’s parent company, Envest, owns and operates Seacliff Energy: an anaerobic digestor that can process up to 110,000 tonnes of organic waste each year. Set in Leamington, it has served municipalities including the City of Toronto, York Region, and Halton Region. Envest recently signed contracts to process organic waste from Windsor-Essex and Durham Region beginning in 2024.

When organic waste is treated as garbage and taken to landfill, it emits potent greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide and methane, that contribute to climate change. If the organic waste is taken to an anaerobic digestor instead, the gases it emits can be turned into renewable biogas that displaces fossil fuels.

“Anaerobic digestion is a closed-loop system where nothing goes to waste,” said Jason Moretto, President and CEO of Envest. The biogas produced in the Leamington facility is converted into renewable electricity for the Ontario grid and thermal energy for a nearby tomato greenhouse. The digestion process also produces nutrient-rich, pasteurized, and certified organic Seacliff Green fertilizer, which Envest distributes to local farmers.

If green bin collection isn’t available to you, composting is a great alternative that also lowers greenhouses gases and produces plant-friendly compost. There are even waste diversion options for homes and offices without outdoor space – at the Bullfrog office, we use an appliance to process our food waste and create compost for staff to take home!