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Calgary Organics Composting Facility View From Top

North America’s largest in-vessel organics processing facility

Winner of the SILVER AWARD for INFRASTRUCTURE 2017, awarded by The Canadian Council of Public-Private Partnerships.

Largest in-vessel aerated static pile facility in Canada

SSO and dewatered biosolids composting

SSO capacity: 160,000 tonnes annually

Quality Compost: 70,000 tonnes annually

North America’s largest in-vessel organics processing facility

The Calgary Innovation Centre composting facility opened its doors in July 2017 and is AIM’s largest managed processing facility to date. With a design capacity of 145,500 tonnes per year the facility is designed to receive and compost organics from the City of Calgary residential source separated organics (SSO) program (100,000 tonnes per year) as well as dewatered biosolids from one of the City of Calgary’s Wastewater Treatment Facilities (45,500 tonnes per year). As the OMR (Operate/Maintain/Repair) provider in the CRMG consortium (CRMG), AIM developed the process flow, facility layout, and provision of key pre- and post-process systems for the facility. The facility employs an advanced aerated static pile in-vessel system to better manage the dual inbound organic waste streams.

AIM has been managing upwards of 130,000 tonnes per year of SSO based on the success of the City’s SSO collection program; well above the original facility design. In 2022, the City of Calgary awarded a detailed design contract to CRMG to expand the capacity of the existing composting facility by adding anaerobic digestion while also maximizing the throughput (without expanding) the existing composting facility. The expansion involves the addition of two horizontal plug-flow anaerobic digesters that can process 70,000 tonnes per year of organics, resulting in an increase in capacity for SSO to 160,000 tonnes per year. To maximize the existing compost facility, 90,000 tonnes of SSO will be mixed with digestate from the new digesters and processed via aerobic composting. Biogas will be upgraded into renewable natural gas for injection into the distribution network.

AIM’s scope of supply for the expansion includes: the supply of AD process technology; design, supply and installation of material handling upgrades; commissioning and performance testing; acceptance of performance guarantees; and OMR services in concert with the existing OMR services for the composting facility. Commissioning is expected to commence in early 2026.

Unique features

The largest fully enclosed in-vessel aerated static pile composting facility constructed in Canada, it was also the first such facility designed to compost both source separated organics (SSO) and dewatered biosolids. Calgary has the largest odour control biofilter, treating some 800,000 cubic meters per hour of odour air. The facility in 2024 will also be the first to construct a plug-flow anaerobic digestion expansion to increase capacity for SSO to 160,000 tonnes per year, with 70,000 tonnes directed to anaerobic digestion to create renewable natural gas. Digestate will be co-composted with the remainder of the SSO. The anaerobic digestion expansion will be commissioned in 2026.

AIM Environmental Group’s team successfully processes over 100,000 tonnes of municipal organics received from The City of Calgary’s Green Cart program each year, and over 130,000 tonnes of organics in total when including municipal dewatered biosolids from The City’s Bonnybrook wastewater treatment plant.

The program has successfully diverted material from landfill, and produces high quality finished compost for use within the city and surrounding agricultural land.

Craig More, P.Eng. | Program Manager – Organics
The City of Calgary Waste & Recycling Services

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