Saskatchewan

Yorkton keeping waste out of landfill with enormous compost pile

The City of Yorkton is building a compost pile that would make any composter green with envy.

What started as a small project six years ago could lead to big money

An aerial view of Yorkton's massive compost site. (Submitted by Val Fatteicher)

It may be the biggest compost pile in Saskatchewan.

Six years ago, the City of Yorkton started a small project to keep waste out of the landfill.

Now, it has a compost pile that would make any composter green with envy.

Michael Buchholzer, Yorkton's director of environmental services, said the Waste Reduction Council approached them with a composting idea in 2008. 

"We were sort of unsure what the future brought in composting, so we said, 'Why not? We'll try it," Buchholzer said.

What started as "a small little program", now stretches for 80 to 100 acres.

The mounds of compost are about six feet high and made up of hay, a little straw, spoiled grain, and a little manure from heartland livestock.

"We know that we have to screen it. We know that we have to remove metal that is in there. We know that we're probably going to have to deal with some federal agencies."

Right now, the compost is actually making money because it is diverting refuse from the dump and saving such hauling fees. But once they can start selling it, the city could be making a lot more money.

"We're not looking at bagging it," Buchholzer said. "We're looking at selling it by the truckload."

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