Calgary

Airdrie, Cochrane look for new composting after facility ordered to close in Rocky View County

Organic waste from Cochrane and Airdrie is being handled in Calgary now that a large composting operation in Rocky View County the communities were using has been ordered to shut down.

Thorlakson Nature's Call east of Airdrie was denied a new permit from the county

The composting operation that handles all 18,000 of Airdrie's green bins is shutting down over a permitting problem. (Jennifer Lee/CBC)

Organic waste from Cochrane and Airdrie is being handled in Calgary now that a large composting operation in Rocky View County the communities were using has been ordered to shut down.

A number of landowners had complained about the smell from the Thorlakson Nature's Call facility, saying it gave off a terrible stench.

The open-air compost facility initially opened as a manure composter, but for the past few years it has also been trucking in organic residential waste from nearby municipalities and taking waste from a beef processor.

Earlier this week, the county denied the company the permit it needed to stay in operation and ordered it to stop accepting organic waste.

Airdrie waste and recycling official Susan Grimm says the city's organic waste is being sent to Calgary until a new arrangement is set up. (Jennifer Lee/CBC)

Airdrie had been sending its green bin material to the Thorlakson facility since 2014.

Susan Grim with Airdrie's waste and recycling services says that material is now being sent to a facility in Calgary.

"They process it there and then they take it to different sites, but our ultimate goal is to eliminate that middle transfer and find a site where we can take our material direct to a site where it'll be processed," she said.

Grimm says green bin collection has not been impacted and there will be no change in fees.

The town of Cochrane is also sending its organic material to Calgary as a result of the closure.

Rick Deans with the town of Cochrane said its organic waste had been going to the Thorlakson operation since March.

"There is zero impact to the collection in Cochrane at this time because we have two different alternate sites that we can take our organic material to," he said.

Officials in both Airdrie and Cochrane said they will watch to ensure any new compost facility they contract with has the proper permits in place.

With files from Jennifer Lee

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