CRD to Investigate New Resource Recovery Options for Biosolids and Solid Waste

Apr 13, 2022

Victoria, BC — The Capital Regional District (CRD) Board has approved next steps for two pilot programs that will evaluate potential thermal resource recovery options for both the Class A biosolids produced through wastewater treatment and some construction waste materials received at Hartland Landfill.

Thermal waste management is a process by which heat is applied to waste to reduce volume, remove contaminants and convert the energy within to heat, electricity or combustible material.  Thermal processing options include gasification—where high temperatures and oxygen process organic waste into heat and combustible gas—and pyrolysis, the decomposition of organic waste with low oxygen and a high temperature to create heat and combustible liquid.

Given the complex nature of thermal technology, the Board directed staff to explore the possibility of a long-term beneficial use option for the region’s biosolids through pilot studies at existing processing facilities in February 2021.  After a detailed procurement process, CRD staff have now engaged three North American vendors for the biosolids arm of this research program and expect to have data that will inform planning for the long-term management of this material in early 2023.

The CRD’s long-term biosolids management planning process will explore a broad range of beneficial use options and markets, including gasification and land application, as directed by the Province.  Public consultation will also be a key component of this planning process ahead of the CRD’s submission of a final plan to the Province in 2024.

Investigating the feasibility of emerging waste management technologies is also a key strategy of the region’s new solid waste management plan aimed at reducing the region’s waste per capita rate by more than 30 per cent to 250 kg/year by 2030. 

Staff have identified a potential opportunity to pilot thermal processing options for the beneficial use of construction, demolition and renovation waste with two biosolids pilot vendors and Lafarge Canada’s cement plant in Richmond, the facility that currently uses the region’s Class A biosolids as an alternative fuel to non-renewable resources.

“We need to look at our waste as an energy source as opposed to something we bury. The CRD is committed to exploring diverse and innovative solutions for the beneficial use of both liquid and solid waste in our region,” says CRD Board Chair Colin Plant. “The results from this important research will be invaluable in helping the Board make decisions about the long-term management of these resources in the future.”

Construction, renovation and demolition waste includes wood, asphalt shingles, carpet, underlay and flooring and currently accounts for approximately 19.5% of the material received annually at Hartland Landfill.  Significant pre-processing of this waste stream will be required to meet feedstock requirements for both existing CRD biosolids pilot vendors and any new potential thermal technology facilities.

On April 13, the Board directed staff to proceed with the next steps for this second pilot study, asking staff to return to the CRD’s Environmental Services Committee in June with financial implications, detailed timing and resource requirements to investigate this potential beneficial use option further.

Proud to be recognized as one of BC’s Top Employers and Canada’s Greenest Employers, the CRD delivers regional, sub-regional and local services to 13 municipalities and three electoral areas on southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Governed by a 24-member Board of Directors, the CRD works collaboratively with First Nations and all levels of government to enable sustainable growth, foster community well-being, and develop cost-effective infrastructure while continuing to provide core services to residents throughout the region. Visit us online at


For media inquiries, please contact:
Melanie Tromp Hoover, Communications Supervisor
CRD Environmental Services
Tel: 250.360.3287
Cell: 250.818.1489