Waste management is an important step in the cannabis production process, but one step that rarely receives the attention it deserves. Licensed growers across the U.S. and Canada must meet many municipal and regional waste disposal laws, as cannabis waste isn’t as easy as a quick visit to the regional landfill, or perhaps 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 rely on microorganisms to break down landfill-bound waste on location.
Although historically focused on food waste, they have got turned their attention to the marijuana waste management procedures, along with its subsequent waste problem. Their patent-pending technologies turn organic waste into water that is clean, and also the testing phase is expected to wrap up installing an on-site test digester with an Aurora facility inside the next few months.
The Growing Downside To Cannabis Waste
According to the recent statistics emerging from B.C.’s southern neighbor, the state of Washington, cannabis waste is starting to become a real headache for producers and 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 places, some industrial composting companies have decided to adhere to the federal law as opposed to local state laws on cannabis. Whatever the underlying reason, Micron has zeroed about this costly industry headache as their next target audience.
In Washington, composters report hauling far from 3,000 to 4,000 pounds of waste per week using their cannabis clients. For the majority of producers, maintaining compliance while simultaneously upholding high environmental standards is actually a near impossible task. In Washington state, skilled professionals think that most cannabis waste simply goes right to the landfill. Few producers try to contract it to an industrial composter.
Through its agreement with Aurora, as well as the recent addition of BC Research and engineering consultancy centered on bringing emerging technology towards the commercial space, Micron is set to revolutionize the business. They are striving to perfect an innovative digester, which will process all organic materials (soils, stems, stalks, leaves, and much more) into grey water iaouzk meets municipal discharge standards. No matter if the producer relies upon conventional pesticides, or organic growing techniques, the last product after on-site processing will likely be water clean enough to dump down the drain.
Aerobic Waste Management
The first 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 next step pumps the slurry through four unique environments which use further microbes and specialized enzymes to convert it into non-potable, but otherwise clean grey water. When fully processed, the water is free from Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), Total Suspended Solids, Biochemical Oxygen (BOD) and then any remaining fats, oils or grease (FOG).