WESTLOCK – A Westlock-area composting company, recognized for its contributions to waste management, narrowly missed taking home an Emerald Award.
Alberta’s environmental leaders, stewards, and supporters gathered in person for the first time in two years for the 31st annual Emerald Awards in Calgary June 1.
AltRoot was nominated in the waste management category, along with two other companies. The Westlock area business has been in operation for several months, partnering with the Westlock Regional Waste Management Commission to turn organic waste into nutrient-rich compost.
“It was quite a surprise and an honour just to have been nominated,” said AltRoot’s operations manager Brian Wonnacott. “The other nominees and recipients are doing amazing work. I was inspired just by learning about them.”
The Emerald Awards, presented by the Alberta Emerald Foundation, showcases those who are raising the bar in addressing local, regional, and global environmental and climate issues, and each sharing a unique approach to environmental stewardship. This year the foundation received nominations from across the province, including Nanton, Camrose, Medicine Hat, Canmore, Sherwood Park, Cochrane, Westlock, Edmonton, and Calgary.
Since 1992, the AEF has recognized nearly 400 recipients and 900 finalists through the Emerald Awards program. It celebrates and support those Albertans who are leading the path towards a more sustainable future.
"We're so excited that we’re able to gather as a community for the first time since 2019 to celebrate Alberta’s environmental leaders,” said Alberta Emerald Foundation executive director Marisa Orfei. "The organizations, projects, and individuals on this year’s shortlist show the incredible environmental work happening in our province.”
Each Emerald Award recipient receives a $2,000 grant to support the continuation of their environmental work, or to donate to an environmental charity of their choice.
“This compost site is an avenue to drive change. The nuts and bolts, the hard work is necessary to drive this positive change,” said Wonnacott. “We’re working with the University of Alberta, and various organizations in tandem with research. We’re trying to learn and trying to improve every single day — we have meetings and discussions on how we can do this better and what else is going on in the industry.”