Phone: 780-442-6468
Email:
ewmce@ewmce.ca 

SOLID WASTE PROJECT CATALOG

Organic Waste Reduction in Business Environment
EWMCE provided innovative approaches to assist a large educational institution achieve its sustainability goals and targets. The outcome was selection of best practices for solid waste collection and development of new "zero waste" stations (including signage and icons) for the institution. The approach and processes used were, but not limited to: conduction solid waste characterization studies and performance studies; facilitating holistic decision-making processes and change management framework; identifying system design options; and piloting changes.

Integration of Anaerobic Digestion and Composting Technologies
This project found that digestate (solids from anaerobic digestion process) dramatically improve composting rates resulting in reduced material retention times. This effect was believed to be caused by the higher nitrogen content of the digestate and that the digestate served as an inoculum to biologically enhanced decomposition rates.

Organic Waste Technology Selection for Business
Three options of organic processing technology types (gasification, anaerobic digestion, and composting) were examined and investigated for a large educational institution. After providing operations and management staff with an understanding of the fundamentals of carious organic processing technologies, an appropriate technology for processing organic waste was selected through a facilitated holistic decision-making process. Both on-site and off-site technology options were considered. The technology selected was to partner in a regional anaerobic digestion technology.

Anaerobic Digestion Technology Selection to Treat the Organic Fraction of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW)
This project comprised of serving on a technical steering committee for the selection of and procurement of a new anaerobic digestion facility for a large municipality. Seven different technology suppliers were evaluated along with their design proposal. Greenhouse gas (GHG) calculations were also performed to estimate the amount of GHG reduction from the addition of a new anaerobic digestion facility from a life cycle assessment perspective. This information was then extrapolated to an Alberta-wide roll-out.

Four Season Municipal Solid Waste Characterization
A year-long waste audit was conducted that was comprised of four seasonal audits. Each audit used planned representative sampling of material streams and best practices in waste characterization protocols and techniques. The project investigated the seasonal material difference of two different collection user groups (single-family vs. multi-family) for two materials (garbage and recycling). The results provided the municipality understanding where their systems could be improved, and where to target social marketing programs and hone operations.

Biosolids Composting Technology Selection
Operations and management staff learned about the advantages and disadvantages of various biosolids composting technologies such as aerated static pile, indoor continuous flow aerated systems, and tunnel system. A facilitated holistic evaluation and ranking options workshop was conducted to select suitable biosolids composting technologies for their cold climate operations.
Human Pathogen Inactivation during the Composting Process
This multi-phase study examined the time-temperature criteria for composting operations as defined by many environmental guidelines and regulations (e.g. USEPA and CCME) to ensure compost safety. The study consisted of a series of full-scale experiments where the compost pile temperatures were monitored during typical large scale composting operations. Novel temperature probes wee developed to use in the experiments. It was found that pathogens can survive in cool zones within the compost piles and that pathogenic organisms can survive the high temperatures specified regulations by going into a "viable but not culturable" (VBNC) state.

Composting Diseased Tree Waste
The EWMCE evaluated protocols for composting diseased tree waste to prevent the spread of fungal pathogens, expand the sources of wood chips for biosolids composting, and reduce wood chips landfilled. The project resulted in identification of infected wood waste that could be used in the composting processes.

Feasibility of Using Treated Wood from Recycling Construction and Demolition (C&D) Waste as a Composting Feedstock
Clean wood is commonly used as a bulking agent for compost, but historically, treated wood has been landfilled due to potential environment impacts from potential toxic elements (PTEs). EWMCE investigated whether treated wood can be used as a compost bulking agent, specifically determining if there are ant adverse impacts and potential environmental impacts on the composting process and product quality. It was found that treated wood could be used in the process without negatively impacting processing rates or final product quality.

Contamination Removal from Organic Fration of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Composting Feedstock
This project compared the effects of different operation conditions of a system that uses trommel screens to separate materials (e.g. contaminants from the organic fraction of municipal solid waste). The goal was the increase processing throughout by minimizing clogging while improving the quality of feedstock. Various parameters (trommel angle, rotational speed, and feed rate) were investigated at full scale test for various trommel screen sizes (2", 3", 4", 5", and 9"). The work resulted in an adjustment of the minimum screen size from 2 to 4" diameter.

Impact of Pre-Treatment on Compost Quality: Focus on trace Metals
This research project investigated the benefits of pre-treatment and feedstock manipulation on compost quality, and determined the rates and mechanisms of transfer of metals from municipal sources, such as batteries and scrap metal into the final compost. Metal transfer rates from various materials within a composting environment were determined resulting in some materials, e.g. light bulb tails, being removed from the garbage waste stream and directed to EcoStations.

Drywall Waste Management
The housing construction industry in Alberta currently generates one-third of the province's waste. This multidisciplinary study developed best management practices for handling drywall waste, and produced a software tool for designers that optimizes material use and prevents waste.

Pathway of Carbon Monoxide (CO) Generation in Compost
Carbon dioxide (CO) production was studied in an enclosed co-composting facility. The study involved assessing the temporal and spatial variability of CO emissions and identifying and correlations between the CO emission rate and the biological and physiochemical properties of the compost through EWMCE laboratory scale incubation experiments. Practical strategies were developed to limit CO emissions to safe levels in other enclosed composting facilities.