Vancouver’s Athletes’ Village is the first neighbourhood in North America that is heated by turds.

Southeast False Creek’s $30-million Neighbourhood Energy Utility (NEU) recovers heat from sewage to generate 70 per cent of the neighbourhood’s heating and domestic hot-water needs.

“What is considered waste, flowing through the pipes underneath here, is now being used as a resource,” said Surrey Coun. Marvin Hunt, who took part in the unveiling as a director of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

“We need to think like that in everything that we do, that our wastes are really our resources for the future.”

The renewable technology will be supplemented by solar hot water from the roofs of three buildings in the Athletes’ Village. Natural-gas boilers will heat water on the coldest days.

The utility will eventually provide heat for 16,000 residents and businesses in the developing neighbourhood.