Hello Composters and all those involved in the organics recycling industry,
As you may know, The City of Calgary has just opened their brand new compost facility. We’ve been provided some pictures from Day 1 of its opening as well as a number of articles about the grand opening, which you’ll find below. Congratulations to the City of Calgary!
Don’t forget that a tour of this facility will be one of the main highlights of our national conference this September. We hope to see all of you there September 18th to 20th! Please visit http://www.compost.org/English/attend_events.htm for more details. Register now!
One of many news stories about the new composting facility in Calgary.
A look inside the city’s massive $143M Shepard composting facility
By: Shawn Logan
Date: July 18, 2017
It comes in as a sundry collection of leaves, leftover food and even pet waste, and after about 60 days it is transformed into nutrient-rich and in-demand compost.
After nearly two years of construction, the city’s new $143-million Shepard composting facility will begin accepting its first loads of organic waste from green bins Tuesday.
The massive facility in southeast Calgary, about the size of eight football fields, is the largest of its kind in Canada.
Philippa Wagner, with the city’s waste and recycling services, said it has been a long road to citywide green cart collection, but by October, all corners of the city will be part of the new recycling regime.
“The pilot that we’ve operated for the last five years has shown us that there’s great support for this program – 89 per cent support from those residents, and we’ve been able to reduce the waste to landfill by about half,” she said, noting the lifespan of the city’s landfills should be extended by as much as three decades through separate organic waste collection.
“We are now ready to launch the program across the rest of Calgary.”
The city will begin collecting green cart waste from homes in southwest Calgary on Tuesday. By the middle of next month, the program will extend to northwest Calgary, with the northeast and southeast coming on stream in September and October, respectively.
The facility, staffed by 30 employees and operated under contract by Aim Environmental, is expected to process some 85 million kilograms of food and yard waste every year, enough to fill the ice surface of the Scotiabank Saddledome to a height of 20 metres.
In addition to the capital outlay, the green cart program and the composting facility are expected to cost the city about $37 million per year to operate, with about half of that allocated to collection and about a third for plant operations.
While city council is giving taxpayers a break on the bill for its first year of operation, every single-family household will have to shell out $6.50 per month for the service come 2018.
Wagner said the city expects the vast majority of Calgarians will buy in, but the city has tweaked its bylaws to further aid in compliance.
“We’ll be working with residents to encourage them to use the program,” she said, noting those who refuse to comply may see the city ultimately stop collecting garbage from black carts for those households or even level fines.
The state-of-the-art facility also uses acid baths and bio-filters to treat any air released from the facility, a process officials claim will eliminate any odours from travelling into nearby residential communities.
After the compost has undergone the two-month treatment process from raw waste to compost, the city will then sell the by-product and use the revenue to defray the costs of the program to taxpayers.
Starting next year, five per cent of the finished compost will be made available for free to community gardens and to the public during select giveaway days.
Wagner said multi-family homes will also be required to have their own food and yard waste programs in place by November.