The City of Swift Current will be updating its composting operations contract in a way that will help to liquify some bulk assets.

During this week's city council meeting, General Manager of Infrastructure and Operations, Mitch Minken, was able to both review how the compost program has performed to date, but also shed some light on a new facet of the operation they have planned for the undertaking this year, in liquid fertilizer.

"The program has increased annual production, and sales and successfully produced quality compost every year with no limitations for use as defined by federal compost regulations," praised Minken.

Since the program began in 2019, the City has collected yard waste like grass trimmings and branches from residents via drop-offs. This yard waste is then mulched and pulped into fertilizer that has positive effects on soil growths like grass, flower beds, and gardens.

2020 saw the first year where the program's sales totalled $2,500. By 2021, that number had climbed by more than double to $7,800.

"In the fall of 2021, an agricultural test plot on tame forage crop was top-dressed with compost for analysis in the 2022 growing season," revealed Minken. "Liquified compost production is set to begin in 2022, with agricultural test plots scheduled for forage and cereal crops."

By liquifying the compost, they were able to remove an additional 3,600 cubic yards of air space from the landfill, on top of the 5,000 cubic yards they were already saving under the composting program. By taking the yard waste materials and using them as fertilizer, they keep the space they would have occupied in the landfill open and free.

This is estimated to save the City $179,000 of airspace within the landfill.

Liquified compost is denser than regular compost, allowing for easier storage. It is also more accessible for farmers who run sprayers for fertilizer.

Les Giesbrecht, who was already contracted for the original contract, was selected as the winning bidder on this year's upgraded composting operations contract. The city agreed to the annual cost of the contract, just north of $142,000.