The Commission operates the Bow Valley’s only approved compost facility. Our Class II compost facility, located at the Francis Cooke Resource Recovery Centre, is approved by the Government of Alberta under Landfill Operating Approval 49173-02-00 and is managed under Alberta Compost Facility Operator Certificate AB1093.

The facility is located just east of Exshaw, Alberta. We are approved to accept soft tissue yard waste such as leaf and grass material along with finer fresh shrub trimmings. Other non-food related material such as clean hay or straw may also be accepted. Material associated with animal waste such as stable or kennel bedding and material that we consider to be a wildlife attractant is not accepted. Please call the scale (403-673-2708) in advance to confirm that your material may be accepted for composting at our facility.

We prefer if material is not contained in bags. If you prefer to use bags for cleaning up your yard, the material must be in paper yard waste bags or, if plastic, the bags must be certified for composting. Traditional plastic bags, “biodegradable” or “oxy-biodegradable” bags will not compost. That is, they will not be fully consumed by our team of micro-biological organisms. These bags must be emptied in the drop-off area and the bags saved for reuse or placed in the garbage.

Just the plants please! Keep in mind that we use your yard and garden material to make new soil for someone else. Do your best to keep debris and contaminants like glass, plastic bits, street sweepings, cigarette buts, beer cans, dog toys, dog doo, and other unacceptable or non-compostable yard trivia out of your loads destined to be composted.

Compost and Topsoil  Quality

The compost process is regulated by the Alberta Government and is managed to kill harmful organisms and weed seeds while encouraging the soil organisms that make healthy soil. In addition, the Francis Cooke compost facility has been inspected and our practices have been reviewed by Canadian composting experts to be sure we meet the standards established by the Compost Quality Alliance. Both compost and the finished topsoil are tested by independent laboratories to ensure industry and government standards of quality

The Top Soil Production Process

Each spring our finished compost is blended into a topsoil product for the season. First, all finished compost is tested for quality prior to blending with soil feedstock. The compost is then then blended with newly excavated soil feedstock. It is a requirement for acceptance at our facility that all excavated material has been tested prior to arriving on our site. This ensures it meets Alberta Tier 1 Soil Remediation criteria for Parkland applications. The blended compost and excavated material product is then tested for standard soil quality parameters and weeds when the first batch is produced at the start of each season. Not all subsequent topsoil batches for the season are tested for soil quality. Customers should inquire to determine if soil quality information is available for the stockpile currently being sold. Customers may be required to pay for any additional testing they require.

Topsoil is sold out each season, ensuring that no stockpiles are stored for extended periods of time that would allow the accumulation of weed seeds over late fall and winter.