The Town of Banff has received approval from Parks Canada to process the Town of Canmore’s biosolids at the Banff N-Viro Recycling Facility, located at the town’s wastewater treatment plant.
The approval provides a framework for an agreement between the two communities. Banff and Canmore are currently in discussion on terms and to ensure all conditions set out in the approval are met.
“We’re very pleased to receive the approval” said Banff Mayor Karen Sorensen, “and appreciate Parks Canada’s support in this innovative and environmental solution to waste management.”
The N-Viro process involves recycling commercial and residential food waste and biosolids, along with an alkaline source, into a marketable product. In Banff’s case, the product is Banff N-Rich, a soil amendment that has been presold to an Alberta nursery for sod production and land reclamation. The N-Viro facility was commissioned in January 2013.
The facility is running at about a 55 per cent capacity, said the town’s Operations Manager Paul Godfrey. By optimizing production through adding Canmore, the town can spread the costs and risks across two communities, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the Bow Valley. “With N-Viro, the Town is providing a Bow Valley solution to recycling waste that would otherwise go to a landfill,” he said.
Prior to implementing N-Viro, the Town’s food waste and biosolids were cured and then shipped to a former landfill site inside the national park at Castle Mountain. The alkaline source is cement dust from plants in Exshaw, which was also previously landfilled.
The approval came with conditions focused on ensuring any risk to wildlife is minimized, such as maintaining or decreasing the number of shipments in and out of the facility, correct storage and decanting at the facility and shipping during daylight hours. The Town intends to consolidate its shipments, and decant food waste at its operations yard before bringing to the WWTP to cut down on avian attraction.
It will take approximately three to fourth months after an agreement is signed before shipments can begin.