Banff N-Rich Recycling Process

The Town of Banff is the first municipality in western Canada to install the N-Viro biosolids waste recycling process at its wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) to manage its organics waste streams of biosolids from commercial and residential kitchens.

N-Viro harvests essential nutrients from organic waste such as biosolids and turns it into a marketable product that can be used in landscaping and agriculture. The organic waste is mixed with an alkaline material, in this case cement dust normally headed for the landfill. The heat generated in the curing process kills pathogens, while retaining the beneficial mico-organisms and raises the pH to 12.

Banff’s organics waste is being turned in to Banff N'Rich, a soil amendment to be used in the production of sod and soil blending for landscaping and land reclamation. The product is a registered fertilizer under the Fertilizers Act with The Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The Ministry of Environment and Parks Canada approved the N-Viro installation and process in Banff in 2013 and the Town has signed a five-year agreement with the company.

Before the agreement, Banff was shipping its cured biosolids to a former landfill in Castle Mountain. Parks Canada had indicated they wished to reclaim the site and the Town was unsuccessful in finding a market for biosolids. Banff N-Rich is being shipped from the WWTP directly to an Alberta nursery for sod production and land reclamation, closing the loop on waste that was once landfilled.

Installation is complete and the commissioned. The budget for the installation is $1.576 million. To offset the cost of the installation and to enhance environmental programs, the Town receives revenues generated by the marketing of the product.

The Town recently announced it is in discussions with Parks Canada and the Town of Canmore to add a portion of the Town of Canmore's organic biosolid waste to the N-Viro recycling process. With the addition, the Town will consolidate and reschedule trips to reduce the impact of operations on the national park and the community.