Since, its inception in 1987 the Swan Hills Treatment Centre has safely processed more than 295,000 metric
tonnes of hazardous waste and over 2,000 different waste profiles . As a fully integrated world-class waste
treatment facility it is capable of achieving complete treatment of all wastes with the exceptions of
pathological, explosive and radioactive. A key feature of the Treatment Centre’s operation is that all wastes
which are accepted by the facility are treated at one location with no need to ship residuals elsewhere.
The Plant Site was chosen in 1983 with construction and environmental monitoring beginning in 1985. The
Plant Site consists of a half section (320 acres) of which approximately 80 acres is fenced.
Prior to any waste being shipped to the Treatment Centre, its chemical properties must be determined and a
plan developed for its treatment. Documentation of the movement, treatment, and ultimate disposal of
special waste is essential. Therefore, monitoring and transportation, treatment and disposal binds the
various parts of the System together and ensures a successful waste
management program. This "cradle to grave" care concept is achieved by
the use of various management systems including waste profile sheets,
transportation manifests and waste "fingerprinting".
Waste is delivered to the facility by bulk truck or in containers with drums.
Incoming loads are weighed and sent to off-loading areas which
are equipped for waste sampling, drum processing, and tankage. The waste is sampled and a "fingerprint"
analysis is performed to verify that the waste is representative of that specified by the generator.
The Treatment Centre can refuse to accept waste which does not match that initially specified by the
generator. Drum wastes received can be temporarily stored in specially designed transport containers or in
storage buildings while awaiting processing. On site storage compacity is approximately 8,000 units.
The Facility has the capacity to destroy a total of 45,000 tonnes per year, through one of the two process
facilities. The selection of the technology to be used is dependent upon the contaminant in the waste. An
array of processes are in place to support these two technologies either by preparing the waste for
treatment or by disposing of the treated residue.
• Incineration – organic waste (in solid, liquid or sludge forms) is destroyed in the incinerator at
temperatures up to 1200º C; acid gases and particulate matter is scrubbed from the resulting flue gases in
a multi-stage process; bottom ash and flyash are stabilized and placed in secure on-site landfill cells.
• Physical/Chemical – inorganic liquids are chemically neutralized and filtered to remove solids. The solid
residue is stabilized into an inert compound and placed in secure, on-site landfill cells; treated liquid
effluent is injected 1,800 metres below the ground into a stable geological formation.