City of Hamilton’s biosolids project moving ahead

The City of Hamilton’s new facility to treat the biosolids resulting from the city’s wastewater treatment process is moving ahead with the signing of an agreement between the City of Hamilton and Harbour City Solutions, the company that will ultimately deliver the project.

This public-private-partnership is also supported through funding from PPP Canada for the design, building, finance, operation and maintenance of a facility that will take the nutrient-rich organic materials that result from the wastewater treatment process and turn them into pellets to be sold for fertilizer or fuel.

Harbour City Solutions, the selected proponent for the project, is a consortium of companies that will create the designs, obtain financing, and oversee the construction of the facility. They will also operate and maintain it for a period of 30 years once construction is complete.

The cost of the project is estimated at $106 million (net present value). Fifty per cent of the capital costs will be paid once construction of the facility is complete – split equally between PPP Canada and the City of Hamilton. The remaining capital costs as well as the operation and maintenance fees will be paid out by the City of Hamilton over the 30 year term.

The new technology is projected to help significantly reduce the number of transport trucks required to remove biosolids from the Woodward Wastewater Treatment Plant, and is expected to greatly improve odour and noise impacts in the community.

Quick Facts

  • Biosolids are nutrient-rich organic materials resulting from the treatment of sewage in a wastewater treatment plant.
  • The City of Hamilton produces about 38,500 wet tonnes of biosolids per year.
  • Today, biosolids coming from Hamilton’s wastewater treatment plants are used in agricultural fields, for restoration of mines, or sent to landfills.
  • When treated and processed, biosolids can be recycled and used as fertilizer to maintain or improve soil conditions and promote plant growth.
  • The new facility will use the biosolids to produce a product, which will be sold to the agricultural community as a slow release organic fertilizer, or to coal burning industrial facilities as a renewable fuel replacement.
  • The new technology involves heating the biosolids in a large dryer drum and selling the resulting dried product.
  • The project allows the City to transfer risk in processing and marketing of biosolids in the most efficient manner, providing fixed known cost over a 30-year period that was validated through a predetermined affordability threshold.


“This will be one of the first and the largest municipal water and wastewater public-private-partnership projects in Ontario and adds to the City’s innovative profile as a leader in municipal biosolids management and resource recovery.”
Mayor Fred Eisenberger
City of Hamilton