Rethinking Wastewater

Metro Vancouver is finding new and innovative ways to use the sewage that comes through its wastewater treatment plants. No longer seen as a waste product, wastewater can be used to produce heat, energy and ingredients for fertilizer and topsoil.

Turning waste into resources

New ways of using sewage and other waste products:

Rethinking how we use waste

Integrated resource recovery (IRR) is a new way of thinking about waste. This approach looks at waste as a valuable resource and not simply as something that must be disposed of. When wastewater is treated, organic materials and other products are separated out from the wastewater stream. Instead of being thrown out, these materials can often be recycled to produce heat and electricity, biosolids and other products.

Our goal

Metro Vancouver’s long-term goal is to recover all elements in wastewater as energy, nutrients, water or other usable materials. Elements that can’t be recovered would be returned to the environment in a way that protects public health and the environment.