Waste management is an important part of the cannabis production process, but a step that rarely receives the interest it deserves. Licensed growers throughout the U.S. and Canada must meet many municipal and regional waste disposal laws, as cannabis waste isn’t as simple as a quick journey to the regional landfill, or an easy composting bin.
Micron Waste Technologies, headquartered in Vancouver, BC, Canada, has entered into a collaboration agreement with Canadian heavy-hitter, Aurora Cannabis Inc. Micron focuses on developing on-site organic waste treatment systems, which depend on microorganisms to interrupt down landfill-bound waste on site.
Although historically centered on food waste, they may have turned their awareness of the cannabis waste management procedures, and its subsequent waste problem. Their patent-pending technologies turn organic waste into clean water, and the testing phase is expected to wrap up setting up an on-site test digester in an Aurora facility in the next couple of months.
The Growing Downside To Cannabis Waste
In accordance with the recent statistics coming out of B.C.’s southern neighbor, the state Washington, cannabis waste is becoming a genuine headache for producers and also the regional landfills. In Washington alone, 1.7 million pounds of cannabis waste has accumulated since legalization in 2014.
Despite most cannabis bi-products being entirely compostable, many regions have determined that marijuana waste needs to be treated as medical waste. In other areas, some industrial composting companies have decided to follow along with the government law instead of local state laws on cannabis. Whatever the underlying reason, Micron has zeroed with this costly industry headache his or her next potential audience.
In Washington, composters report hauling from 3,000 to 4,000 pounds of waste a week using their cannabis clients. For most producers, maintaining compliance while at the same time upholding high environmental standards is actually a near impossible task. In Washington state, skilled professionals believe that most cannabis waste simply goes right to the landfill. Few producers try to contract it all out with an industrial composter.
Through its agreement with Aurora, and the recent addition of BC Research and engineering consultancy dedicated to bringing emerging technology for the commercial space, Micron is set to revolutionize the business. These are striving to perfect a modern digester, which will process all organic materials (soils, stems, stalks, leaves, and a lot more) into grey water iaouzk meets municipal discharge standards. Whether the producer relies on conventional pesticides, or organic growing techniques, the ultimate product after on-site processing is going to be water clean enough to dump down the drain.
Aerobic Waste Management
The initial element of Micron’s innovative cannabis waste disposal system incorporates a tag team of mechanical and microorganism action, transforming the organic waste into sludge. The second step pumps the slurry through four unique environments which use further microbes and specialized enzymes to transform it into non-potable, but otherwise clean grey water. When fully processed, this type of water is free of charge from Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), Total Suspended Solids, Biochemical Oxygen (BOD) and then any remaining fats, oils or grease (FOG).