Fact-astic Fridays Presents: 48,000 Tonne Organic Digester

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Happy Friday Everyone!

So although today's fact isn't entirely about washrooms, it does have to do with waste. We're proud to share that our home city Edmonton's Utility Services Branch will be building an Anaerobic Digestion Facility! This facility will essentially act as a giant "stomach" to  process a combination of organic waste and biosolids ("treated sewage sludge") into fertilizer. The ground up organic material will be loaded into airtight boxes where anaerobic bacteria will then break down the organics. This process produces methane gas that will also be collected to power a heating and electrical plant. Click here to read the original article.

The benefits of this new facility is that it will eliminate about 40,000 tonnes of greenhouse gasses from being released into the atmosphere, offset utility costs for the organization, and provide nutrient rich compost that the city can sell to farmers. 

After reading about this new facility, I decided to look into our waste management centre a little more. When garbage arrives at the facility, it goes through the Integrated Processing and Transfer Facility (IPTF) to be divided into one of three different areas: composting, biofuels, and landfill. Approximately 90% of waste is diverted from the landfills, however from the waste that does go there, landfill gas is tapped off the decomposition to be used as fuel. Did you know that "one tonne of organic waste can produce 125 cubic metres of methane, the energy equivalent of one barrel of oil"? The electrical energy generated from the recovered gas powers over 4600 homes! I encourage you to check out the City of Edmonton's website on the Waste Management Centre  to learn more.

These stories make me extremely proud to live in a city taking huge steps towards sustainability. As individuals we can do our part by sorting our garbage, recycling, and  taking our household chemicals to eco-stations, We all have a part in sustainability and hopefully by sharing this article you can inspire your own cities to do the same. Have a fantastic weekend! 

Carolyn Truong