Not In My Backyard
City of Red Deer Waste Management Facility

"Recognizes excellence in the application of engineering, geological and geophysical methods towards preservation of the environment and the practice of sustainable development."

The City of Red Deer's waste management facility takes a new approach that will lead the way for others. It is an integrated facility that includes not only a landfill, but also a composting pad, recycling/salvage area, permanent household hazardous waste depot, and an interpretive centre. This project was completed in 2001 after a 10-year period that involved technical engineering studies, complex approvals, engineering design, construction and quality assurance and control throughout.

The process started with extensive public consultation, which is reflected in everything from the excellence of the design to the architecture and overall feeling and functionality of the site. The location of the 640-acre site is within city limits, which minimizes the transportation distance and associated environmental impacts.

One of the highlights of the facility is the landfill design, which includes a composite liner (combination of clay and synthetic liner) and a granular leachate collection system to collect liquid seeping through the garbage. The liquid, or leachate, is either disposed of at a wastewater treatment plant or is re-circulated in the landfill. The re-circulation of leachate will allow the cell to act as a bio-reactor - the increase in moisture causes acceleration in the decomposition of the waste. This has the added benefit of increasing the rate of production of landfill gases, thus improving the economic potential for recovery of the greenhouse gas methane.

The all-weather compost pad is constructed with a gravel base and a surface made from RAP (Recycled Asphalt Pavement) cold mix. The recycling/salvage area is designed to handle large appliances and scrap metal. The hazardous waste facility allows citizens of Red Deer to drop off household hazardous waste on a permanent, year-round basis.

Education is an important component of any waste management program. The Waste Interpretive Centre is designed to complement the Grade 4 science curriculum, specifically the unit on "Waste and our World". Hundreds of students tour the facility each year as well as many individuals and adult groups. The displays are designed to be fun, entertaining, and informative. Visitors get an understanding of the need for responsible waste management and the sanitary landfill process. They are also encouraged to take personal action to reduce, reuse, and recycle waste products.

Prior to construction, the existing wetland area on the site was identified as a sensitive area for preservation. An Ecological Profile process was used to inventory plant and animal species. The wetland is viewed as a focal point that enhances the facility and provides an example of a development and a natural area existing side-by-side.

This project brings together environmental protection, leading edge design, and a commitment to education to benefit all stakeholders. Red Deer is proud to have this facility "in its backyard"!

Previous Recipients

2001 Edmonton Co-Composting Facility