Composting facility closes, Edmontonians reminded to stay the course

Edmontonians are urged to continue grasscycling and backyard composting with news the Edmonton Composting Facility has closed permanently for safety reasons.

“We encourage people to continue to grasscycle, to continue to backyard compost, said Michael Labrecque, Branch Manager, City of Edmonton Waste Services. “That will be part of anything we do going forward.”

Here’s more from Labrecque, speaking to Edmontonians at a news conference announcing the decision at the Edmonton Waste Management Centre.

For years, the Edmonton Composting Facility had used the organic portion of waste collected with treated sewage sludge to create compost, a rich soil supplement. In the near future, organics processing will be partially directed to the Anaerobic Digestion Facility (ADF), which is undergoing commissioning into the third quarter of 2019. Without access to the composting facility, the City’s overall organics processing capacity will be reduced immediately.

In 2017, structural issues were identified at the facility. The City made several safety enhancements so that the facility could continue to do its work. Since then, operations at the facility have been conditional, based on regular safety assessments.

Earlier this spring, an additional investigation revealed conditions in the facility had deteriorated.

“Transitioning to the Anaerobic Digestion Facility has been the City’s plan for the future and now these plans will be expedited,” said Labrecque.

Edmonton Waste Services is planning an additional Organics Processing Facility aimed at providing a long-term substitute for the composting facility. The need to replace the Edmonton Composting Facility is factored into forthcoming reports on the 2020 – 2023 Business Plan and 25 Year Waste Strategy Update being presented to City Council in late June.