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Calgary Aggregate Recycling awarded $8M grant to construct soil reuse facility

The company says the facility is the first of its kind in Canada.

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November 9, 2021

Calgary Aggregate Recycling Inc. (CAR), a concrete, asphalt and aggregate recycling business in Calgary, Canada, has been awarded an $8 million grant from Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) to develop a C&D waste recycling plant that will be operational by 2022.

The company says the grant will go towards building a fully operational soil reuse site at CAR’s current facility. The facility will recycle contaminated and mixed soils unsuitable for use in new construction. The wet processing technology to be used at the site will be supplied by Northern Ireland-based CDE. The goal is to significantly reduce waste and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while also improving economic recovery and long-term sustainability. 

“We are privileged to work alongside Calgary Aggregate Recycling Inc. to deliver the first C&D recycling system of its kind in Canada. The environmental benefits of this project are huge—the solution will divert over half a million tons of waste destined for landfill into valuable resources for the construction industry. It also eliminates the requirement to haul material across 350 kilometers to landfill, saving an estimated 22,567 tons of greenhouse gas emissions in Alberta annually," Adrian Convery, business development manager at CDE, says. The facility is made possible through ERA’s Shovel-Ready Challenge via the government of Alberta’s Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction fund (TIER).

According to a news release from CAR, by weight, contaminated soil is Alberta’s largest hazardous waste stream, with an estimated 3 million metric tons of contaminated soil landfilled in Alberta annually. CAR says the soil washing technology to be deployed at the site has been proven to reduce carbon emissions in the construction industry by diverting contaminated waste away from landfills and turning it into products for reuse.

“At Calgary Aggregate, our mission is to reduce the cost of construction—socially, environmentally and economically,” says Travis Powell, president of Calgary Aggregate Recycling Inc. “With the support from ERA and the government of Alberta, we are pleased to construct Canada’s first C&D waste recycling plant to disrupt the out-of-date practices in the construction industry with economical and viable solutions to position Alberta as a leader in sustainable and responsible construction.”

CAR says its soil reuse facility will reduce soil waste in landfills, reduce aggregate mining, reclaim communities, reduce environmental impacts and create jobs. The facility will have the capacity to recycle 600,000 metric tons of excavated construction materials annually. It will also redirect 510,000 metric tons of soil from landfills and reduce GHG emissions in Alberta by an estimated 22,567 metric tons annually. The company says this equates to a 65 percent reduction to the baseline conventional disposal model. 

The biggest reduction in GHG emissions will come from the centralized location of the facility, eliminating the need for waste being hauled more than 217 miles to landfill sites. 

“Emissions Reduction Alberta’s Shovel-Ready Challenge is unlocking innovation and mobilizing private spending to create economic opportunities and improve environmental performance,” says Steve MacDonald, CEO of ERA. “This investment builds on Alberta’s strengths across sectors and turns emission reduction ambitions into action.”

Read about CDE’s first soil washing system in use in North America, which is in operation at Posillico Materials in New York.