Moving Forward

Research is essential to the growth of any field, and the Edmonton Waste Management Centre of Excellence (EWMCE) in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, is doing its part to advance solid waste management. The EWMCE recently opened the Clover Bar Research Facility, which will allow organizations and students the opportunity to study such topics as leachate treatment and composting, and develop new solid waste treatment methods.

According to Jerry Leonard, EWMCE executive manager, much of the research conducted at the facility will be publicly funded and will be published on the EWMCE's Web site. Current research is focusing on biosolids dewatering, compost process optimization and ways to recycle sand used on icy roads.

The research facility includes a tipping area, “dry” and “wet” wings, chemical and microbiological laboratories, a mechanical annex, office space and work areas for graduate students. The 1,000-square-meter dry wing contains controlled areas for researching dry waste treatment processes for recycling and dry stream management. The same-sized wet wing features research bays for wet compost and landfill applications, and includes a fully instrumented compost preparation drum.

The facility's exterior features include biofilters for odor control, provisions for stationary and mobile sludge tanks, landfill test cells, planting beds for soil and compost testing, and instrumented pads for large equipment testing. The research center's second floor has six research work stations for graduate students, office areas, a viewing gallery and multi-purpose space, as well as an energy-efficient “green roof” that has been planted with vegetation.

EWMCE is a nonprofit, public-private partnership that encompasses a range of solid waste and wastewater treatment and educational facilities. Its partners include the city of Edmonton, University of Alberta, Alberta Research Council, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, Kirkland, Wash.-based AMEC Earth and Environmental, and Olds College. The new research facility, which is owned and operated by the city but dedicated to EWMCE use, was built with a combination of federal, provincial and municipal funds.

Companies will be able to use the research center to test technology for new product prototypes. Non-EWMCE organizations can access the research center through any of the partners, Leonard says.

A similar facility dedicated to EWMCE research in wastewater — the Gold Bar Wastewater Research & Training Centre — also recently opened in Edmonton. An official opening ceremony for both new centers is slated for September.