By combining the natural containment properties of clay with cutting-edge technology and engineering, and a strong vision of a cleaner, more sustainable future, Lafleche’s BioReactor is changing the way we think about waste.
The premise of the state-of-the-art landfill site known as the BioReactor is to view waste as a valuable asset. Proceeding from that premise, the BioReactor is designed to safely dispose household and solid non-hazardous waste, contain all waste - and waste water - on site, and to treat the waste to ensure it continues to provide benefits to society for decades to come.
Re-circulating the leachate encourages an accelerated anaerobic reaction within the waste. Microbes, the microscopic "bugs" that break down the waste, act much faster in an anaerobic environment. By re-circulating the leachate, the BioReactor can accelerate the decomposition of waste by as much as 15 - 20 years. This means that waste can break down nearly three times as quickly in the BioReactor as in a traditional landfill, where decomposition takes an average of 50 years.
Once a cell, or section, of the BioReactor is filled with waste, it is covered with a soil cap. As the waste decomposes, methane gas is created and held under the cap. When it is present in sufficient quantities, the methane can be captured and used to generate electricity. The BioReactor produces methane that can be converted into 4 Mw of power! In addition to its environmental value, this makes the BioReactor a tremendous economic asset for the area.