From Curbside to Compost

Step 1:

Organics are collected in either an organics-only truck or the same truck as garbage or recycling, but in a different compartment. Once collected, organics are brought to a transfer station and then sent to an organics processing facility. The City owns two organics processing facilities, Disco and Dufferin.

Collection truck and worker in front of a row of new Green Bins
Organics-only truck

Step 2:

Once at an organics processing facility, the green bin material is unloaded onto a Tipping Floor. From there it is pre-processed to remove the plastic bags and contaminant materials from the organics. At the Disco organics processing facility, material is preprocessed in a hydropulper where it is mixed with water to facilitate the removal of the non-organic materials. At the Dufferin organics processing facility, the organic material will be separated from the non-organic material using a press.

hydropulper
Hydropulper

Step 3:

The remaining material is then sent to anaerobic digesters, where microorganisms in the absence of oxygen (anaerobic) break down the material to produce digester solids and biogas. The biogas can be used for heating or be turned into electricity or renewable natural gas. The City is currently looking into technologies to turn its biogas into renewable natural gas and potential uses like fueling its fleet of solid waste trucks.

anaerobic digester
Digester vessel

Step 4:

The City sends the digester solids produced through anaerobic digestion to contractors where it is turned into high quality compost which can be used in parks and gardens. The City gets some of the compost created back and gives it out to the public for free at Community Environment Days.

Digestate created through anaerobic digestion to contractors to be turned into high quality compost
Digestate