The City collects approximately 160,000 tonnes of organics a year and processes the majority of it within city limits.
The City’s two Organics Processing Facilities (Dufferin and Disco Road) use innovative pre-processing systems followed by anaerobic digestion — a process where microorganisms, in the absence of oxygen, break down the material to produce:
- digester solids, which can be used to create high quality compost
- and biogas, which is made up of methane gas, carbon dioxide and other trace elements and typically flared (burned off).
The City of Toronto, in collaboration with Enbridge Gas Inc. (Enbridge), has installed biogas upgrading equipment at the Dufferin Solid Waste Management Facility that will allow it to convert the biogas that is produced from processing organics into renewable natural gas (RNG) and inject that gas into the natural gas distribution grid. Once in the grid, the City can use the low-carbon fuel to power its waste collection trucks and other vehicles and/or heat City buildings and facilities. The next facility to receive RNG infrastructure will be the Disco Road Organics Processing Facility.
Disco Road Organics Processing Facility
Completed in summer 2014, the Disco Road Organics Processing Facility, currently processes 75,000 tonnes of organics per year using a state-of-the-art wet pre-processing system and anaerobic digestion. After arriving at the facility, organic material is pre-processed in a hydropulper where it is mixed with water to facilitate the removal of the non-organic materials. This is followed by anaerobic digestion.
The Disco Road Organics Processing Facility is North America’s first full-scale municipal source-separated organics/green bin waste processing operation to use anaerobic digestion. The Disco facility:
- features a sophisticated odour control system
- incorporates the harvesting of rainwater
- uses biogas in dual-fired boilers to meet processing demand and help heat the building.
In 2016, the City won a Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) Silver Excellence Award in the Composting category for the Disco Road Facility.
The facility is located at 120 Disco Road. In addition to an organics processing facility, the site also includes a transfer station, outdoor areas for yard waste composting and a drop-off depot for Household Hazardous Waste and Electronic Waste.
Dufferin Organics Processing Facility
The Dufferin Organics Processing Facility was recently expanded to increase its organics processing capacity from 25,000 tonnes a year to 55,000 tonnes a year. The expansion includes the following enhancements:
- Installation of a wastewater treatment system
- Expansion of the odour control system
- Increased building footprint to accommodate a larger tipping floor and new processing equipment
- Installation of a buffer tank
- Addition of insulation and new exterior cladding
- Larger spill-containment system
- Relocation of leaf and yard material area.
Like the Disco Road Organics Processing Facility, the expanded Dufferin facility will also use anaerobic digestion, but a different pre-processing system. At Dufferin, the organic material will be separated from the non-organic material using a press.
The City has installed new equipment at the Dufferin facility that will allow it to upgrade the biogas produced by processing organics into renewable natural gas (RNG).
The Dufferin facility is located at 35 and 75 Vanley Cr. and also includes a transfer station, outdoor areas for yard waste composting and a drop-off depot.