Pelletizer Facility at Ashbridges Bay Wastewater Treatment Plant, Toronto, Ontario

The challenge

In the Canadian province of Ontario, winter can take hold from late October to May, freezing farmland for many long months. During the period favorable for farming, the race is on to grow crops as quickly as possible through the use of fertilizers. However, with the heavy use of chemical fertilizers arises another critical problem: the depletion of the quality of our soils. 

 

Veolia's solution

To encourage the use of organic and natural fertilizers, the City of Toronto has been entrusting Veolia since 1999 with first the design and construction and now the maintenance and operation of the Pelletizer Facility at Ashbridges Bay Wastewater Treatment Plant. 

Innovative solutions

  • At the facility, Veolia recovers sewage sludge and heats it at high temperatures to give it a new life cycle.  The result is Nutri-Pel: a nutrient-rich sustainable commercial fertilizer in the form of a hard pellet.  Nutri-Pel contains important primary (Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium) and secondary (Calcium, Sulfur, Magnesium) macro-nutrients, as well as micro-nutrients (Zinc, Copper, Molybdenum and Nickel) and organic matter all of which are essential for healthy plant growth.
  • Veolia markets and sells approximately 25,000 metric tonnes of Nutri-Pel produced annually to local farmers in Ontario

 

The benefits for our clients

Through the use of our operational, engineering and technical expertise and experience, Veolia is able to help the City of Toronto establish a circular economy and infinitely reuse waste that would have previously been discarded. 

Results:

  • Create an opportunity to implement a local and sustainable circular economy that
  • endlessly upcycles and converts sewage sludge into a natural fertilizer that responsibly supports Ontario’s agricultural growing demands and protects the environment and natural ecosystems from chemical fertilizers 
  • Guaranteed to contain 4.5% nitrogen and 6% phosphorus, Nutri-Pel is a nutrient-rich fertilizer that replenishes Ontario’s lands, increases its water retention and limits erosion without the need of synthetic inputs
  • Affordable fertilizer that costs 25 to 35% less than conventional MAP (Monoammonium phosphate) fertilizers while offering the same amount of nutrients and more micronutrients and organic matter
  • Fertilizer adapted to Ontario’s local farming methods such as pasture
  • Commercial fertilizer that meets the Canadian Fertilizers Act and Regulations as well as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency safety, efficacy and package requirements
  • Product that is routinely tested by highly specialized experts to ensure safety and consistency

 

Marj Jewell, local cattle breeder, says

when we took over the farm, the soil was very poor. When we were looking for solutions to enrich it, I met the promoters of Nutri-Pel, a product that I’d never heard of. When I learned where it came from, I hesitated for a long time... But I was won over by the ecological arguments and we went for it at the end. Today, we can see the results. The land is richer and the volume of hay has significantly increased. It's a great product and I’m delighted with it!