When food scraps and organic matter decompose in landfills, methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, is created. If captured properly, methane can be used as a fuel source (known as biogas). Biogas is considered carbon neutral since, unlike natural gas, it does not add any new carbon to the atmosphere. Separating organic matter out of the waste stream and converting it to biogas lowers the greenhouse gas emissions associated with our waste, creates a new fuel source, and makes recycling easier.29 votes
The City has already started a food scraps collection program for neighbourhoods where yard trimmings are collected. These materials are currently composted. With more organic waste diversion, the City will explore opportunties to implement technolgies that produce biogas like gassifiers and anaerobic digesters.
Vancouver can be a model of a community that works together to reduce its peak electricity demand and thus the generation capacity needed to sustain it. It can do this through proper monitoring of usage in both residential and commercial buildings and financial incentives to reduce beyond savings on the bill. Make Vancouver a model, and once shown successful, this model can be expanded to other BC cities and beyond.10 votes
We could use the potential heat from our shower, dishwasher and other source of hot water that we utilize everyday and utilize the energy to heat the hot water again ( Re-use it for a thermal recovery )13 votes
The South East False Creek Neighbourhood Energy Utility is one of 4 systems in the world where heat is recovered from sewage and distributed to the South East False Creek Neighbourhood. for a district energy system.
Many people around the world live in smaller housing units in denser neighbourhoods. In Toronto, many freehold lots are between 15-20 feet wide. The typical Vancouver lot is 33 feet wide. We could double the density in the City by encouraging the development of smaller, attached homes on freehold lots that are 15-16 feet wide. Density alone is not enough to create a livable city, but density will help to reduce emissions as well as helping to improve the affordability of housing in Vancouver.39 votes
The Ecodensity planning process kicked off efforts in this area. Laneway housing is a good example smaller, denser housing we are starting to see across the city.
Have city staff invent a machine to capture/burn the heat from your poo and transfer to hot water tank, or sell it into the city grid I mentioned earlier, exploiting a very domestic source of energy.1 vote
The Neighbourhood Energy Utility (NEU) in Southeast False Creek provides space heating and domestic hot water to new buildings in the area. The system uses sewage heat recovery to supply most of the annual energy demand (70%). This approach is being considered in other areas. Read more here: http://vancouver.ca/sustainability/building_neu.htm
Metro Vancouver is also exploring opportunities to generate energy from liquid waste. See also: http://www.metrovancouver.org/about/publications/Publications/ILWRMP.pdf
Cloud computing servers that run on renewable wind energy also minimize the need for computer upgrades, high-power servers that stay on all night, and costly software licences. Google has invested hundreds of millions in green power and offers government grade office services at a fraction of current costs. They also recycle computer parts to create their data centres. By using these services, we become greener.12 votes
Good ideas. We are looking for all kinds of opportunities for renewable energy generation, waste heat recovery and energy conservation. Current good examples of waste heat recovery are in newer swimming pools and skating rinks. See a good example though the following link: http://vancouver.ca/parks/info/2010Olympics/pdf/Hillcrest.pdf
Encourage all those stores that vent their unwanted heat from A/C units as well as from coolers/fridges and freezers grocer types and pump that heat into hot water tanks! The technology is available "off the rack". Known as Fre-Heaters..we should be capturing all that vented heat and convert it into hot water. NEW stores should not have such old equipment and instead be encourage to convert at the time of building!5 votes
Great idea. We’re looking for all kinds of ideas to encourage the reuse of waste heat. We will to understand opportunities to include these ideas in amendments to the building code.
Dryers are huge energy sucks, and outdoor clothes lines can do a fine job drying laundry (at least for the 50 days a year it doesn't rain!). Perhaps a summer student could be hired to come install clothes lines at residences around the city.11 votes
Several years ago the City devleoped water saver kits to help people conserve water. Look for clothes line kits to be ready for distribution in 2011.
Vanier Park's ideal location for wind and reducing the GHG's for Vancouver's 3 major museums would not only be beneficial environmentally but would be a major attraction to the public.17 votes
Great idea. The Vancouver Park Board has examined opportunities for small wind energy generation at locations further west like Jericho.
Half of Vancouver’s greenhouse gas emissions come from burning natural gas to heat our buildings. The large district steam heating systems found at the hospitals and downtown are significant users of natural gas. Converting these existing systems to renewable energy sources would reduce reliance on natural gas and help to lower our greenhouse gas emissions.11 votes