Halifax moving ahead with $288 million composting facility

The Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM), Nova Scotia recently awarded Harbour City Resources (HCR), a consortium of companies, with the contract to Design-Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (DBOOT) a composting facility under a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) with a 25 – 35 year operations and maintenance period.  The new facility will be able to deal with 60,000 tonnes of organic waste a year.

Maple Reinders, headquartered in Ontario, is the managing partner of HCR.  Maple Reinders affiliate company AIM Environmental Group is a partner in HCR and will provide both proprietary technology to the facility as well as the long-term operations and maintenance services.

Since 2014, the municipality has been working towards developing a new organics management facility to process residential green cart materials and commercial organics. As part of the planning steps, the condition of the existing two composting facilities was assessed, a business case for a new facility was developed, and comprehensive public engagement was completed with the findings incorporated into the requirements for the development of a new facility.

HCR’s design for the Halifax composting facility builds on an already established technology and design. Modern features for the proposed facility include:

  • Compost Quality – the compost being produced at the new facility will meet the 2010 NS Environment Composting Facility Guidelines.
  • Odour Control – the proposed facility design incorporates significant measures to mitigate odours, including the use of air lock doors which means that odours from the facility cannot escape to the surrounding community.
  • Energy Efficiency – the proposed facility includes LED lighting and will take advantage of the heat generated from the compost process, and rooftop rainwater collection.
  • Water Negative Process – Unlike the existing composting facilities, this proposed facility is water negative and won’t produce a leachate that will need to be treated off-site.
  • New Use of By-products – Ammonium sulphate, generated from the odour control system, can be marketed as a fertilizer product for the agriculture industry.

Once complete, the new facility will replace two aging facilities and will position HRM well into the future with respect to sustainable management and recycling of organic waste material from residents and commercial producers. The facility incorporates Canada’s most advanced compost screening infrastructure and will create a Class A compost product from the Municipality’s organic waste material. AIM Environmental Group presently operates one of these aging facilities for HRM and will assume management of both facilities during the design, construction, and commissioning phases of the process.

Harbour City Resources has built and operated facilities in Calgary, Hamilton and Guelph, Ontario.

Final contract negotiations and execution are anticipated to be completed in early 2021.  The new facility is anticipated to begin construction in 2021 and will take approximately two to three years to complete.