Edmonton's expertise in waste management is heading to China.
Waste RE-solutions, a City of Edmonton-owned private company that markets Edmonton's waste-management expertise internationally, is hoping to develop a facility which will process garbage in the east-central China city of Lichuan, along with Chinese partners.
Once operational, the facility would process 150 tonnes per day of Lichuan's municipal waste stream into recyclables and fertilizer for agricultural use.
Lichuan has a population of close to 800,000.
Gary Klassen, the general manager of sustainable development for Edmonton, is accompanying Mayor Don Iveson in China as part of a 10-day mission to Asia to develop business opportunities.
Klassen said the memorandum of understanding is the first phase of the project.
"At this stage it's really the equivalency of a very small start up," he said. "It's exploring that potential, to see if the business model makes good sense and the returns for Edmonton will be what they need to be to continue that work."
The city is not disclosing the value of the arrangement, saying it's too early in the process.
Edmonton diverts 52 per cent of its garbage from landfills. It hopes to raise that number to 90 per cent in the next few years when a facility to turn garbage into biofuel is up and running.