Canopia: a promising start - 29 July 2016

For the past 6 years, Girus has been assisting the Bil Ta Garbi district waste authority with the construction of a multiple treatment route waste recovery centre, Canopia, from the definition of the programme (2009) to monitoring throughout the one-year defects liability period straddling 2015 and 2016.

The Canopia site comprises 5 units:

  • The sorting, anaerobic digestion and composting unit (organic resource recovery facility), with a capacity of 83,000 tonnes of household waste per year
  • The recyclable packaging sorting centre with a capacity of 15,000 tonnes/year
  • A bulky waste consolidation area, with a capacity of 20,000 t/year
  • The educational itinerary and area
  • The head office for the Bil ta Garbi district waste authority

The sorting, anaerobic digestion and composting unit is a facility for recovering organic resources from household waste generated in part of the area managed by the authority.

The unit, which was built and is operated by Urbaser, comprises the following elements:

  • A dual mechanical sorting line that separates an organic fraction smaller than 10 mm, ferrous and high and low LHV waste: pre-fermentation tubes, rotating screens, shaking screens, double ballistic separator
  • Production of inert waste through densimetric sorting of refuse from the shaking screen
  • Anaerobic digestion of the 0-10 mm fraction in two 3,800 digesters (Valorga process)
  • An area dedicated to green waste composting and aerobic maturation of digestate for 2 weeks in sealed tunnels with injection of hot air
  • Recovery of the biogas produced by the cogeneration process in order to produce electricity (12,500 MWh/year), which is injected into the power grid, and heat (12,500 mWh/year), which is used for the process
  • Air collection and treatment with a capacity of 165,000 Nm³/h

Construction schedule for the organic recovery unit:

  • Launch of construction in 2011
  • Works completion report: March 2014
  • Ramp-up: April to December 2014
  • Commissioning of the generators: November 2014
  • Full operating capacity since 8 December 2014: 1200 t/week
  • Industrial-scale operation planned for March 2015
  • Acceptance and launch of the operation phase planned for June 2015

Appraisal of the launch of the unit in January 2015:

  • More than 200 tonnes of compost are produced per week. All the lots dispatched comply with standard NFU44051
  • Refuse extracted from the sorting process represents nearly 50% of the incoming tonnage
  • Biogas production reaches 85 Nm³ per tonne of incoming household waste
  • Electricity has been injected into the network since December 2014
  • The integration of Canopia in its urban environment has been successful, with no odour nuisance or noise pollution

The performance tests planned in the spring of 2015 will provide a means of checking precisely that the unit meets its targets. The first results obtained shortly after the start-up were more than promising.

Following the success of the composting unit managed by the Marsan district waste authority, the quality of whose standardised compost was applauded during the FNCC (French local authorities’ association) congress held on 13 & 14 November 2014, there is no doubt that Canopia, which has captured the attention of many players in the industry, will also contribute to restoring the image of organic household waste recovery facilities and anaerobic digestion in particular.