Field olfactometer testing at the Edmonton Waste Management Centre.

If you have a concern about odours from the Edmonton Waste Management Centre please call 311 to report the odour.

Waste Services is committed to constantly improving odour management by regularly reviewing best practices and using the latest technology.

Some of the actions taken to reduce odours at the Edmonton Waste Management Centre (EWMC) include:

Normal Operations

  • Ensuring that odour-causing activities are done indoors as much as possible. Operations take place in enclosed buildings as much as possible and biofilters are used during the release of ventilated air.
  • Completing the turning of outdoor composting piles before 3pm to reduce potential for odours in the evening.
  • Reducing or stopping the turning of compost piles during conditions for high potential of odour migration to communities.
  • Processing or transfers solid waste from the Integrated Processing and Transfer Facility using a ‘first in first out’ approach to minimize storage time of waste.
  • Maintaining a water cap over the biosolid lagoons (a water cap is a layer of water over the biowaste, acting as a barrier between the waste and the air).
  • Using a discharge station to help reduce odours from the direct discharge of biosolids into the lagoons.

Weather-specific Operations

At times, residents may notice that the odour from the Edmonton Waste Management Centre seems stronger. This is due to certain weather conditions such as:

  • South or southeastern winds (normally the wind blows from the northwest)
  • Calm air masses which lead to light or low wind conditions (strong turbulent winds actually reduce odour as they help with dispersion)

On such days, the Edmonton Waste Management Facility institutes the following odour control protocols (in addition to the above normal operations):

  • Reducing the turning of active compost piles
  • Only selecting less odorous compost piles to be turned (newer piles give off more odour than older mature piles)
  • Monitoring compost facility doors to make sure they are closed

Time-related odour

  • Residents may note that odours seem to be stronger in the evening or early mornings. This is again due to the weather conditions as evenings tends to have calm air masses leading to little or no wind.

Biosolids Lagoons

The Clover Bar lagoons are used to store and thicken the digested solids from the Gold Bar and Alberta Capital Region Wastewater Commission wastewater plants.

The biosolids contain essential plant nutrients and organic matter that when properly managed can be applied as a fertilizer and soil amendment. Biosolids are currently used in the Nutri-Gold agricultural land program or non-agricultural land reclamation projects.  

A long term strategy is in place to reduce the storage volume of biosolids in the lagoons.

Reporting Odour Concerns

If you have a concern about odours from the Edmonton Waste Management Centre please call 311 to report the odour.

Call centre agents will log your concern and forward it directly to staff at the EWMC and Waste Services. If we receive more than one call from an area within a day, a consultant will visit the neighbourhood and the EWMC to investigate and log information on the odour, as well as wind and weather conditions. We then analyze the data to help us better manage our operations.