Hamilton, Ontario, is home to an impressive, one-of-a-kind compost facility and biowaste-management program.

In 2001, the city faced a critical situation: available landfill space in the region was virtually nonexistent. To combat the program, the 504,000-resident city began looking at solutions that would help them meet the formidable goal of reaching a 65% diversion rate by 2008. They decided upon a central composting facility (CCF), but planning, designing, and constructing one would be a highly complex task.

By 2004, the city had selected a site and approved the design-build-operate contract. To ensure that the process flowed smoothly, all parties involved hammered out and signed a statement declaring their common mission; to create a state-of-the-art facility that would serve as the cornerstone of the city's waste-diversion goal.

The CCF opened for business in 2006. Carts and mini bins were distributed to residents and businesses for green waste collection, and the CCF—with a process capacity of 66,139 tons (99,208 peak) per year—is running smoothly.

Session: Household Organics: Case Studies in Curbside Collection and Composting

Pat Parker, manager of solid waste planning, Hamilton, Ontario
Beth Goodger, director of waste management, Hamilton, Ontario
Theo van Wely, president, Aim Environmental group, Hamilton, Ontario
Mark Whitfield, director of public works, State College, Penn.
Jim M. Close, director of public works, Harrisburg, Penn.
Monday, 10:30 am

This article is part of PUBLIC WORKS magazine's live coverage from the 2007 APWA Show. Click here to read more articles from the show.