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October 19, 2004
The Dufferin Organics Processing Facility
The City-owned Dufferin Organics Processing Facility is one of four facilities
that processes organic material collected from households participating in the
Green Bin Program. This facility officially opened in the fall of 2002 to
handle organics collected from 70,000 Etobicoke households, which began
participating September 2002. The Scarborough community started separating
their organics from regular garbage and placing their green bins out for
collection in June 2003.

A patented technology is used to separate unwanted materials from the
organics. Anaerobic digestion (a biological process that uses bacteria to
break down solids in the absence of oxygen) produces biogas and prepares
organic material for processing into compost.

All organic processing occurs in an enclosed building or within a sealed
digester (a large tank adjacent to the processing building). The ventilation
system is designed to create negative air pressure in the building (permitting
air flow into the building, but not out of it). The system also has a
biofilter to treat all exhaust air from the building.

The process:
  1. Organics are picked up at the curb by collection vehicles and brought to the Dufferin Organics Processing Facility
  2. The organics are visually inspected and large, unwanted items are removed
  3. A hydropulper (similar to a large blender) is used to spin the organics into a liquid pulp. Unwanted materials such as plastic, glass and stones are removed from this pulp through two processes—screening and settling
  4. Anaerobic digestion takes approximately14 days to convert the pulp into two things: an organic solid material that can be turned into compost and biogas
  5. The organic solid material is loaded onto trucks and taken to another facility for composting. The finished compost can be used in landscaping, agriculture, soil erosion control and soil remediation projects
For further information, see
the City’s Web site at:

Media contact:
Geoff Rathbone
Director, Policy and Planning, Solid Waste Management Services



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