Landfills: A Viable Waste-to-Energy Alternative for Ottawa?

Friday April 16 – 7:30 p.m. at the Almonte United Church Social Hall

Speaker: Paul van Geel

Topic: Landfills: A Viable Waste-to-Energy Alternative for Ottawa?


Bioreactor landfills are increasingly being viewed as an effective waste disposal option because they help to speed biodegradation and the production of landfill gas and also increase waste disposal capacity of landfills. Adding to these benefits, many supporters have proclaimed bioreactor landfills as a sustainable waste-to-energy alternative. But this methodology too is not without its critics. Concerns related to odour, leachate seeps, efficient collection of landfill gas, and the historic image of a landfill all impact the public’s perception of this waste-to-energy alternative. Professor Van Geel, who is studying the waste stabilization process at a full scale bioreactor landfill in Ste. Sophie, Québec, will discuss the implications and effects of the use of bioreactor landfill technology, provide an overview of the research being conducted at Ste. Sophie, and shed some light on the ongoing debate on sustainability of this waste-to-energy alternative.

Speaker’s Profile:

Dr. Paul Van Geel is Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carleton University. His expertise is primarily focused on the transport and fate of contaminants in the subsurface and issues related to waste management. He developed and taught a landfill design course and has supervised several students on waste management related topics including; the use of seismic techniques to map the moisture distribution in landfills, impacts of saline water on degradation kinetics in bioreactor landfills; life cycle analysis approach to evaluating different waste management strategies and his current research related to understanding and optimizing waste stabilization in bioreactor landfills operated in northern climates.