Compost facility to expand

Penhold-area Stickland Farms uses compostto drastically reduce crop fertilizer needs

A Red Deer County compost operation near Penhold is expanding.

Since 2010, Stickland Farms has been creating compost for agriculture use at its site about six km west of Penhold.

By using compost material, Stickland Farms, which is also a grain operation, has been able to reduce the amount of fertilizer by 75 per cent, says a report to county council. Some of the compost is sold to other customers, but most is used by Stickland Farms.

The county’s municipal planning commission conditionally approved a development permit on Tuesday to allow Stickland Farms to add new composting pads in addition to the existing five-acre pad.

No additional truck traffic will be created by the expansion to the operation, which has an Alberta Environment and Parks-approved capacity of 20,000 tonnes a year.

Waste is supplied by the City of Calgary and City of Edmonton, and a two-year pilot project is underway with the City of Red Deer.

The facility accepts leaf and yard waste, food waste and other consumer organics from the cities’ garbage collection, bio-solids from wastewater treatment plants and agricultural wastes, including animal feed, bedding and manure.

Mayor Jim Wood said he supports Stickland Farms’ expansion plans.

There had been odour concerns about the operation previously, said Wood.

However, Stickland Farms has since improved filtration on the composting piles, which has significantly reduced the odour, says a planning report to the municipal planning commission.

“I think it’s really important that we keep odour under control,” said Wood. “I see there’s a plan to do that.”

Wood asked county staff how odour complaints would be addressed should they arise.

Dave Dittrick, director of planning and development services, said the county’s nuisance bylaw covers those kinds of issues.

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