Demolishing Edmonton's compost facility to cost $12M, report shows

It may cost the City of Edmonton $12 million to tear down part of the existing compost facility that was closed permanently earlier this spring.

A new report estimates that could be the cost to demolish the aeration hall portion of the compost facility. 

The city first closed the aeration hall in fall 2017 after finding structural problems with the roof. 

Pascale Ladouceur, acting manager for infrastructure, planning and design, said the city has worked with contractors to come up with the deconstruction plan. 

"We are recommending it because we think it's something that needs to be done," Ladouceur told CBC News Thursday. "We feel that it's a fair price for the work that's being contemplated." 

Ladouceur said the costs include machinery, personnel to do the work, tearing down the structure and recycling materials from the demolition.

The plan calls for keeping certain parts of the existing facility, such as the tip floor where trucks drop off their loads of organics and the processing transfer facility. 

City of Edmonton

Those functions are being used for the new adjacent anaerobic digestion facility — a system of processing organics in the absence of oxygen. It's still being tested and used to process some of the organics being picked up with the city's pilot project.

The city also plans to build a new organics processing centre by 2025, estimated to cost from $200 million to $300 million.

On Thursday, the infrastructure, planning and design branch also released initial findings on the potential benefits of using a P3 model to build a new facility. 

It would be based on digestion technology, similar to the anaerobic digestion facility at the waste management centre, which will allow the city to harvest methane from the organics. 

More work is needed to sort through the details of a possible private-public partnership, Ladouceur said, but preliminary work shows the city could come out with $36 million in benefits.

Council's utility committee is slated to discuss the deconstruction proposal and P3 findings at a meeting on Sept. 27.

In August, the city's operations branch unveiled its ambitious plan to switch to a four-stream waste management system. 

A sneak peak of that system is being tested as an organics pilot project at 8,000 homes. 

@natashariebe