Waste management is a crucial step in the cannabis production process, but one step that rarely receives the eye it deserves. Licensed growers over the U.S. and Canada must meet many municipal and regional waste disposal laws, as cannabis waste isn’t as easy as a quick trip to the local 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 interrupt down landfill-bound waste on location.
Although historically dedicated to food waste, they have turned their focus on the marijuana waste management plan, 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 setting up an on-site test digester in 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 condition of Washington, cannabis waste is becoming a genuine 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 should be treated as medical waste. In other locations, some industrial composting companies have decided to follow the federal law rather than local state laws on cannabis. Regardless of the underlying reason, Micron has zeroed about this costly industry headache as their next potential audience.
In Washington, composters report hauling away from 3,000 to 4,000 pounds of waste per 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 feel that most cannabis waste simply goes straight to the landfill. Few producers try and contract it out with an industrial composter.
Through its agreement with Aurora, and also the recent addition of BC Research and engineering consultancy focused on bringing emerging technology to the commercial space, Micron is placed to revolutionize the business. They are striving to perfect a modern 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 depends on conventional pesticides, or organic growing techniques, the last product after on-site processing will be water clean enough to dump down the drain.
Aerobic Waste Management
The initial element of Micron’s innovative cannabis waste disposal system features 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 any remaining fats, oils or grease (FOG).