If the name Himark BioGas International doesn’t ring a corporate bell like Sagicor, CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank or Cave Shepherd in Barbados don’t be reluctant to admit it. After all, unless you are intricately involved in the use of energy-from-waste technology, the company’s activities wouldn’t be a standout on the business radar screen. But Himark BioGas International, whose headquarters are in Barbados, is playing an increasingly important role in conversion of municipal waste to renewable energy in different parts of the world. That’s certainly happening in Edmonton, Alberta, where the technology is being used in an anaerobic digestion facility at Growing Power Hairy Hill, (GPHH) to digest 200 tonnes of solid waste and organics from homes and businesses in the metropolitan area of Edmonton every day, especially in such suburban communities as Beaumont, Devon, Leduc and Sherwood Park for conversion into renewable energy. Today the organic material that GPHH is handling is being diverted from landfills around the Canadian province,” explained Eugene N. Choimah, GPHH’s general manager. “These include source-separated organics, food processing waste, and sewer sludge. These materials are converted to energy via accelerated natural breakdown processes in one of the largest AD (anaerobic digestion) plants in North America, thanks to technology and know-how from Himark BioGas. The process produces methane – a completely renewable substitute for natural gas – and that methane not only drives generators connected to Alberta’s power grid, it also feeds boilers in an adjacent industrial plant. In a very real way, citizens generating waste are supplying themselves with green electricity for their homes and ultra-low carbon fuel for their cars.” Shane Chrapko, who heads Himark BioGas, said the process his company used and that’s being employed by Growing Power contributed to a community’s environmental health. “The diversion of waste to GPHH is adding decades to the lifespan of existing landfill in the metro Edmonton area, 50 per cent to 70 per cent diversion makes these landfills more profitable operations – and at the same time better neighbourhoods by reducing leachate and odor production and making materials handling easier,” he said. “Furthermore, each ton of organic waste diverted from landfill reduces Alberta’s Greenhouse Gas emissions footprint by just over one tonne of [carbon dioxide equivalent], meaning that the 73 000 tonnes/ year of organic waste can take a significant bite out of GHG emissions. Turning a waste product into clean, renewable energy more than doubles the environmental benefits. In addition to its headquarters in Barbados, Himark BioGas International has offices in Edmonton, Nebraska in the United States, Karachi, Pakistan and Hong Kong. “Himark is helping its clients develop the world’s most economical and state-of-the-art biogas capability,” stated the company. “Himark is uniquely capable on a proven basis of designing and operating highly economical plants at a very large scale.” The company has invested in research and development to come up with “cutting edge waste to energy technologies and operational know-how for its clients,” it stated.