Canadian Biomass Magazine

Walker makes gas from garbage in Thorold

March 3, 2015
By Scott Jamieson

March 3, 2015 - Walker Environmental Group (WEG) is celebrating a significant milestone in its efforts to reduce carbon emissions and help Ontario tackle climate change.


In Thorold, Ontario, WEG’s landfill gas utilization partnership company has eliminated the need for more than 200 million cubic metres of natural gas since 2002 by providing landfill gas to nearby Resolute Forest Products, where 100 per cent recycled newsprint is manufactured. The energy from the landfill gas, which would otherwise have been wasted, is equivalent to the natural gas used by approximately 80,000 Ontario homes.  

“We’re proud of our part in achieving this measurable improvement in Ontario’s efforts to address climate change. By utilizing landfill gas, we are helping transform what was once considered a waste, into a valuable asset. We’re also helping Ontario businesses wean themselves away from non-renewable and greenhouse gas (GHG) intensive fuel sources,” said Mike Watt, executive VP, WEG.

Landfill gas, composed mainly of methane and carbon dioxide, is created when organic materials degrade in landfills. In 2009, Ontario’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Change required landfill gas to be collected and flared at large landfills to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  At its Niagara landfill, WEG goes above and beyond the regulation by further processing the gas and piping it to Resolute’s nearby paper mill, reducing the mill’s dependence on non-renewable fuel sources.


“Our partnership with WEG has been a great success story. Using renewable landfill gas has furthered our commitment to reducing our GHG footprint. As a proud member of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Climate Savers program, Resolute has set among the most ambitious GHG reduction targets in the global forest products industry. We’re very pleased that we have exceeded our goal two full years ahead of schedule, achieving an absolute reduction of 67.5 per cent compared with a year 2000 baseline. Projects such as this with WEG contribute to our ongoing efforts and likewise provide a stable, low-cost, renewable energy source for our operations,” said Gord Cole, vice-president/general manager Thorold Operations, Resolute Forest Products.

By displacing the need for non-renewable energy sources, the project has reduced over 375,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. This is equivalent to taking approximately 79,000 cars off the road.

“WEG has demonstrated its leadership once again in the development of a low carbon economy. This project supports a resilient Niagara Region that wastes less, and makes an efficient use of energy from waste resources,” said Katrina Kroeze, executive director, Niagara Sustainability Initiative.

About Walker Industries Holdings Limited

Walker Industries Holdings Limited is a fifth generation, family owned company with a focus on aggregates, emulsions and sustainable environmental solutions.

Walker Environmental Group Inc. (WEG), a division of Walker Industries Holdings Limited offers a wide range of environmental waste solutions for private, public and government agencies as well as disposal and recycling for industrial, commercial and residential customers of Southern Ontario. Businesses operated by WEG include two landfills, a waste transfer facility, six biosolids plants, a composting facility, four food and residual organic processing facilities, landfill gas projects in Ontario and Manitoba, and a company that hauls industrial, commercial and institutional waste. WEG is one of Ontario’s largest handlers of non-hazardous waste.

About Resolute Forest Products

Resolute Forest Products is a global leader in the forest products industry with a diverse range of products, including newsprint, specialty papers, market pulp and wood products. The Thorold plant produces 100 per cent recycled newsprint. The company owns or operates some 40 pulp and paper mills and wood products facilities in the United States, Canada and South Korea, and power generation assets in Canada. Marketing its products in close to 80 countries, Resolute has third-party certified 100 per cent of its managed woodlands to at least one of three internationally recognized sustainable forest management standards. The shares of Resolute Forest Products trade under the stock symbol RFP on both the New York Stock Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange. Resolute is proud to be ranked by Corporate Knights as one of Canada’s Best 50 Corporate Citizens for 2014. In addition, the company and Richard Garneau, president and chief executive officer, have been named to Canada’s Clean50. And in January 2015, Resolute was awarded The New Economy magazine’s global Clean Tech Award for best forestry and paper solutions.

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