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

The challenge

In 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 and often 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 entrusted Veolia since 1999 with the design and construction and operation and maintenance 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 form a hard pellet that is a nutrient-rich, sustainable commercial fertilizer called Nutri-Pel.
  • The pellet is a nutrient-rich fertilizer that replenishes Ontario’s lands, increases its water retention and limits erosion without the need of synthetic inputs.
  • Nutri-Pel contains important primary (Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium) and secondary (Calcium, Sulfur, Magnesium) macronutrients, as well as other micronutrients such as zinc, copper, molybdenum and nickel) and organic matter all of which are essential for healthy plant growth.
  • Nurti-Pel meets the Canadian Fertilizers Act and Regulations as well as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency safety, efficacy and package requirements and is routinely tested to ensure safety and consistency.
  • The product is an 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
  • Nutri-Pel has been adapted to Ontario’s local farming methods such as pasture
  • Veolia markets and sells approximately 25,000 metric tonnes of Nutri-Pel produced annually to farmers in southwestern and central 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 create an opportunity to implement a local and sustainable circular economy that converts sewage sludge into a natural fertilizer that responsibly supports Ontario’s agricultural growing demands and protects the environment and natural ecosystems. 


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!