Calgary receives funding to expand composting

The City of Calgary has received commitments of $33.7 million to expand its municipal composting facility.

The project is getting $23 million through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’s (FCM) Green Municipal Fund and $10.7 million through Environment and Climate Change Canada’s (ECCC) Low Carbon Economy Fund, for a total investment of $33.7 million.

Green Cart Composting Process Small Image

The expansion will increase the composting facility’s capacity to process food and yard waste from 100,000 tonnes per year to 160,000, extending the life of the city’s landfill and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by about 45,000 tonnes per year. This is the equivalent of removing nearly 14,000 cars from the road.

The upgrade is in direct response to the popularity of the city’s Green Cart program, which launched in 2017.

The project is expected to create 180 full-time jobs ranging from skilled trades to management and engineering during the two-year construction period and four full-time permanent jobs to operate and maintain the expansion.

“The Composting Facility expansion is a testament to Calgary’s innovative spirit and commitment to sustainability. As we enhance our waste management capabilities and integrate cutting-edge technologies, we are propelling Calgary towards a greener future and reinforcing our role as a leader in this field,” said Calgary mayor Jyoti Gondek.

The Calgary Composting Facility is one of the largest of its kind in Canada. The facility is owned by The City of Calgary and operated by AIM Environmental Group.

The facility produces high quality compost from both food and yard waste collected from the Green Cart program and dewatered biosolids, a nutrient-rich by-product from wastewater treatment.

Three buildings make up the composting facility – main building, curing building and storage building. Together, the facility is 521,000 square feet. The facility processes upwards of 145,500 metric tons of residential food and yard waste and dewatered biosolids every year.

In 2022, City Council approved an expansion of the Calgary Composting Facility to include an anerobic digestion module that will turn food and yard waste into renewable natural gas. The expansion will add an extra 60,000 tonnes of processing capacity to support the Green Cart program. Construction began in spring 2024 and is expected to be completed by late 2025.