The Toronto Zoo's Board of Management has announced that it will work with ZooShare Biogas Co-operative Inc. to initiate a $5.4 million 500 kilowatt bio-gas plant. Food waste and animal manure will be processed into energy.
ZooShare Biogas Co-operative Inc. is a renewable energy organization that maintains a goal of providing biogas that is owned by the community. Part of its mission is to ensure the growth of biogas across the province of Ontario.
More than 20 years ago, there were only several companies operating biogas plants and that has soared to 700. In 2009, the world’s largest biogas plant was launched in eastern Germany. It is projected that in a little less than 20 years, the biogas market will be a $50 billion industry.
During its June meeting, the Toronto Zoo Board of Management made the announcement that it will work with ZooShare to create a 500 kilowatt scalable biogas plant, which will be the first co-operatively owned plant in Canada and the first zoo-based plant in North America.
The $5.4 million project will process food waste from grocery retailers and animal manure into electricity, fertilizer and heat. Its goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 10,000 tonnes CO2. The group equals it to removing 1,800 vehicles off the road on an annual basis.
“Under the proposed terms of the agreement ZooShare will be responsible for fully funding, designing, developing, constructing and operating the plant on lands leased from the Zoo,” the release stated. Most of the funding will come from community bonds.
The plant is not expected to emit any odours in the area.