More work needed on composting


Editor: I have been following the work done by CORE and wish to correct a few inaccuracies about organic recycling that should be amended.

Firstly, in the story it was stated that “it is clear one of the greatest hurdles to … moving forward is finding a place and space for diverted organic material to go.” In fact, there are two organics facilities within southern Alberta, one near Cochrane, which processes the Town of Cochrane’s organics materials and a second one near Strathmore. Each facility currently has the capacity and is willing to accept source-separated organics from other municipalities.

The Town of Canmore currently sends its garbage to a landfill in Camrose, Alberta — a very distant 380 kilometres away; sending our organic food scraps to a closer location would likely save Canmore taxpayers money (Cochrane is about 50 kilometres and Strathmore about 150 kilometres from Canmore). Banff currently sends its organic materials to a composting facility in southern Alberta. Could there be a cost savings by partnering with Banff to send the organics from both towns to the same facility?

Secondly, the story indicates Canmore’s council has been advised by its administration that the Town of Banff’s organics processing is not considered successful and, based on this example, must proceed cautiously. This assessment may have been more true in the early part of Banff’s attempts, including a trial to deal with its organics through its N-Viro facility whose principal use is to treat biosolids (everything that goes through the sewage treatment plant).

However, the Town of Banff has since resolved the original issues of organics contamination by sending its separated organics to the Strathmore processing facility. It appears administration is disseminating outdated information.

More and more small towns and cities in Alberta are now separating and treating their compost instead of sending it to landfills. Why can’t we?

After more than a decade of “possible consideration of organic recycling,” it is time to include it in the suite of available waste management options. We cannot continue to promote our community as an environmental steward without addressing this important issue. Like many of our incentives, it will contribute to making a difference for future generations.

Organics recycling has been brought up during several civic elections. Thanks to the folks in the CORE group for all their research and for bringing their energy and efforts to council on behalf of our community.

Many of us who have been here for more than a few years have been waiting many years for this option – organics recycling – to be available in Canmore.

Colleen Campbell,



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