Field olfactometer testing at the Edmonton Waste Management Centre.

Waste Services is committed to continuously improving odour management at the Edmonton Waste Management Centre by regularly reviewing best practices and using the latest technology.

Reporting Odour Concerns

If you have a concern about odours from the Edmonton Waste Management Centre, please call 311 to report it.

Call centre agents will share your concern directly with Waste Services staff. We analyze odour data to help us better manage our operations.
Many actions are taken to prevent and reduce odours at the Edmonton Waste Management Centre. They include:

Normal Operations

  • Ensuring odour-causing activities are done indoors as much as possible. Operations take place in enclosed buildings as much as possible and biofilters are used during the release of ventilated air.
  • Turning of compost piles before 3pm to reduce potential for odours in the evening.
  • Processing or transferring waste using a “first in, first out” approach to minimize waste storage time.
  • Maintaining a layer of water over the biosolid  lagoons to act as a barrier between the waste and the air.
  • Using a discharge station to help reduce odours from the direct discharge of biosolids into the lagoons.

Weather-specific Operations

At times, residents may notice that the odour from the Edmonton Waste Management Centre seems stronger. This is due to certain weather conditions such as:

  • South or southeastern winds (normally the wind blows from the northwest)
  • Calm air masses which lead to light or low wind conditions (strong turbulent winds reduce odour, as they help with dispersion)

On such days, the Edmonton Waste Management Centre uses the following additional odour control protocols (in addition to the normal operations):

  • Reducing the turning of active compost piles
  • Only selecting less odorous compost piles to be turned (newer piles give off more odour than older mature piles)
  • Monitoring compost facility doors to make sure they are closed

Time-related odour

  • Residents may note that odours seem to be stronger in the evening or early mornings. This is again due to the weather conditions as evenings tend to have calm air masses leading to little or no wind.