For this innovative pilot project, Waste Reduction Group collected organic food waste from both Oxford Properties shopping facilities and then hauled the material to the Convertus Group’s organic waste treatment facility in London, Ontario. Over the course of several weeks, at this specialized composting facility, the organic food waste went through a unique In-Vessel composting process which slowly converted the food court leftovers into ready-to-use, nutrient-rich compost for the local community.

Waste Reduction Group then brought the fully matured compost material back to the two malls where it was mixed into soil and landscaping projects across both shopping facilities. With this demonstrative pilot program and partnership, together we successfully diverted over 60 tonnes of organic waste from landfills, while producing 12 tonnes of nutrient-rich compost that was brought back to the local communities. 

This custom circular pilot project was designed to demonstrate the possibility of a closed-loop system for organic food waste while inspiring more closed-loop solutions to come.

Organic waste currently decomposing in Canadian landfills is a major contributor to our collective climate emergency. For all the mainstream climate focus on carbon dioxide, the methane released from the decomposition of organic waste in landfills has 86 times the warming power over a 20 period – once released into the atmosphere. And once decomposed, the rich nutrients left in organic waste are lost forever.

Chris Hopper, VP, Growth & Finance, Waste Reduction Group, said, “We are always looking at innovative ways to help our partners recycle more and waste less. Our partners at Oxford Properties, and specifically Yorkdale Mall and Scarborough Town Centre, are leaders in sustainable practices and they jumped at the opportunity to conduct this pilot project together. We’re thrilled to see this come full circle and are excited about continuing to bring new and innovative initiatives to our partners that show the collective benefits of diverting waste from landfills.” 

Hunter MacPhail, Business Development Manager, Convertus Group, commented, “At Convertus, our mission is closing the loop on organic waste. Through our partnership with Waste Reduction Group, we are able to exhibit just how possible and effective this can be. The organic food waste that passed through the Oxford Properties was transported to our In-Vessel Composting site where it was processed into Class A Compost for their landscaping projects. In this amazing pilot program and partnership, we successfully diverted over 60 tonnes of organic waste from the landfill and produced roughly 12 tonnes of useable compost that was applied locally allowing us to contribute further to environmental sustainability and give resources a new life.” 

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