$12 million approved to tear down composting facility
Piece-by-piece process expected to take months
The aeration hall at Edmonton’s signature composting facility is being scrapped to make way for the much delayed new anaerobic digestion facility.
City council on Tuesday approved a one-time spending increase of $12 million to cover the deconstruction of the aeration hall and the south download buildings. The increase is not expected to impact rates.
Ward 8 Coun. Ben Henderson, chair of the utility committee, said the deconstruction was something the city knew was coming for a while.
“This gives us permission to start taking down the building,” he said. “It is not safe right now. The sooner we can get on it the better.”
Henderson said the city is hoping to salvage some of the equipment in the old facility and there’s even some discussion around putting up some kind of temporary structure so it can be used in the interim. He said this is something that will be worked out over the next few months.
The deconstruction of the aeration hall and south download building is expected to start this fall and continue through summer 2020.
Administration told council the deconstruction will be done piece-by-piece because that’s the only safe way to do it since crews aren’t able to go into the buildings.
As for the long-awaited anaerobic digestion facility, the city is expected to open it in spring next year. The facility, which is meant to expand the city’s ability to process organics, was originally slated to open in summer 2018. The latest financial update lists the project as being delayed 213 per cent.
Mayor Don Iveson said it is the development and design of the project that is behind schedule.
“We’ve been doing a lot of work to make sure that we build the right facility at the right size and in the right place,” he said. “One of the factors in the delay is that we’re having active conversations with our neighbours about whether we should have 13 different answers to garbage processing or maybe a more integrated approach at the regional level. That might mean changes to the scope of the digester.”