Five things about Calgary's new compost facility
The waste diversion strategy will see compost created out of table scraps and yard waste
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Starting on Tuesday, table scraps and yard waste from the city's southwest quadrant will be diverted from landfills into this new $143 million facility. Other quadrants will be brought online before the end of the year. The city's organic waste will be turned into quality compost instead of piling up in landfills.
1. A brand new facility
The $143 million facility will employ approximately 30 people. Construction started in fall of 2015 and during its busiest time the project had 200 workers on-site daily. The city owns the composting facility and Chinook Resource Management Group is responsible for design, building and operating the for 10 years.
2. Squeaky clean
This is the cleanest the brand new facility will be – it’s never been used. After Tuesday, when the city does its inaugural run it will start to fill up with yard and kitchen. It's expected the first pick-up will be a big one, as residents have been saving up their yard waste to divert it from the landfill. There are 18 composting vessels and they will fill full up as they move through the five-step composting process.
3. Biggest in Canada
The entire facility is a massive 521,000 square feet – the largest of its kind in Canada. The building is made up of a main building, curing building and storage building. Together, the buildings measure in at the size of eight football fields. This includes an education space that will host 50 to 60 school tours every year.
4. Cooking-like process
It's a lot faster than the compost you'd be making in your yard: the compost is ready for use in about 60 days start to finish. Green Cart Implementation Leader Philippa Wagner said this is possible because of the control they have over temperatures, and moisture as the material goes through the composting process. That’s why they can accept materials like meat bones.
5. Diverting waste
The composting program will be able to handle more than half of the waste from single-family homes. Residents won't see a garbage truck as often once the green cart collection process is rolling because the city's scaled back collection to a bi-weekly schedule.