Make the full transition to gasification
Help to entice local diposal business to conglomerate and move towards gasification. Create greater incentive for local waste managment business to move towards this sustainable technology. Incurring the short term cost of enticing companies such as Nexterra to expand gasification technology and encouraging local businesses to merge and take on this great challenge will pay for itself in terms of stability by reducing large vehicle use between competeing companies, landfill and infrastructure maintenance and the grand promotion and attraction of being the first city in the world with an entirely sustainable waste disposal system.
City of Vancouver is considering gasification technologies as part of a full matrix of solutions
Adam Hyslop commented
Gasification makes the most sense for cogeneration systems (producing both heat and electricity) and has huge potential in areas where the electrical production can offset dirtier forms of electrical generation (e.g. coal). In Vancouver, a more efficient use of biomass (waste wood from the forestry industry or urban sources like construction and demolition wastes, land clearing, etc) may be direct combustion for thermal energy. This was one of the options considered for South East False Creek's Neighbourhood Energy Utility. Because of the nearby sewer main and proposed pumping station, sewer heat recovery was selected. But biomass combustion could play a role in future district energy systems, heating our homes and water in a GHG-neutral way. With modern emission control technologies air contaminants can be effectively limited to the point where they have almost no appreciable impact on ambient air quality.
The first step towards either a direct-combustion or gasification approach to waste management is to improve diversion rates. Right now a substantial amount of wood still gets landfilled because it is mixed up with other debris. You rightly point out that a lot of the diversion and recycling that goes on is done by a handful of private companies. The City and the Regional District could do more to tackle this challenge directly by implementing more sophisticated collection and diversion programs.