Category Archives: Master Composter Recycler

Edmonton Waste Management Centre Tour

We spent the entire day at the EWMC.  Man that place is huge….550 acres huge and it is North America’s largest collection of modern, sustainable waste processing and research facilities.  Rick Mercer even came to Edmonton to do a package on our system.  It is quite well done.

EWMC is comprised of the Cloverbar Landfill (closed in 2009) and several amazing facilities:

Here is the view from on top of the old landfill site.  It is about 10 stories high and gives you the opportunity to view the city skyline, the river and the whole EWMC facility.

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At EWMC they recycle the equivalent of 800,000 trees a year.  Currently 60% of household waste is diverted from the landfill via recycling and composting.  When the waste to biofuels facility is fully operational that number will increase to 90%.   It will convert 100,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste into 38 million litres of biofuels annually.

I was most shocked to learn that they take all the yard and garden waste, household organics that they reclaim from our garbage bags and combine that with the biosolids (i.e. poop, toilet paper, etc) that they remove at the water treatment plant and they produce compost.  It is bagged and sold to consumers as well as used for municipal gardens.

It was truly overwhelming to see how every bag of household garbage is processed, filtered and sorted to reclaim as much as they can and dramatically reduce how much is divert to landfill.  I highly recommend going for a tour.  It will really put into perspective how much trash we produce and how it is everyone’s responsibility to look at what they can do to reduce our impact on the environment.

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Filed under Composting, Master Composter Recycler

Vermin composting

It’s official. I have my first worm composting bin with a handful of red wigglers ready to chow down.

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Filed under Composting, Garden, Master Composter Recycler

Master Composter Recycler

A few months ago I was surfing for some info on composting and I came across a link to the City of Edmonton Master Composter Recycler program.  I read through the info and immediately knew that this was something that I wanted to join. I put in my application, I was given an interview and I ended up one of the lucky 30 people that were selected to participate in 2014.  We had our first two classes this past week.  The participants range in age from maybe the early 20’s to the 60’s and everyone seems passionate about the environment and what they can do to minimize their impact.  Yesterday’s class was a real eye opener for me.  We talked about what items can be put in the blue bag.  I was pretty disappointed to discover that probably close to 5o% of the stuff I put in my blue bag was wrong.  Did you know that the only plastic shopping bags that are acceptable for recycling in Edmonton are the ones you get from the grocery store….that’s it.  They don’t take the plastic bags that we put our fresh produce in, they don’t take shopping bags from retail stores, plastic packaging etc.  On the positive side there was nothing that I put in the trash that should have been put in our blue bag.  If you are ever unsure about what can be recycled, here is a link to a handy on-line poster that you can print.  A good rule of thumb is that is has to be bigger than your fist and smaller than a basket ball (except flattened cardboard, it can be bigger).

I’m really looking forward to Tuesday’s class on composting.  We even get to try our hands at setting up a worm composting bin.  I’ve been bugging Don for years to have one in the house.  Now’s my chance!!

For more info on Edmonton’s programs check out www.edmonton.ca/waste  #yegwaste

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Filed under Master Composter Recycler, Volunteering