Solid Waste & Recycling

Feature

Report to decide fate of damaged Edmonton compost facility

The city closed the composting facility in October 2017 because of a structural issue with the ceiling panels of the aeration hall, which made worker safety a concern.


The City of Edmonton is waiting for an engineer’s report to determine if a structurally compromised composting facility, built in 2000, can still be used safely.

The city closed the 270,000-square-foot composting facility in October 2017 because of a structural issue with the ceiling panels of the aeration hall, which made worker safety a concern, particularly in light of pending snow on the roof of the structure. The deficiencies had first been discovered during an inspection in 2016, but the seriousness of the issue wasn’t revealed until further inspection.

“This has resulted in unexpected costs of hauling otherwise compostable waste to the landfills,” states a report filed to a city committee in late February.

The report revealed that in 2016 just 63,000 tonnes of organics out of 135,000 collected tonnes were processed into compost. In addition to serious issues with contamination of the collected compost, the report also warns of a lack of suitable cure sites, which has created a “bottleneck” for composting operations.

The report also indicates that a new anaerobic digestion facility is scheduled to be operational by 2018. The facility will complement the composting facility, expanding the City’s organic waste processing capacity by an additional 48,000 tonnes of organic waste per year, the report states.

The City’s waste management system recently got a “C” grade from the city’s deputy manager of operations.


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