Waste management is a crucial part of the cannabis production process, but a step that rarely receives the attention 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 perhaps an easy composting bin.
Micron Waste Technologies, headquartered in Vancouver, BC, Canada, has applied for a collaboration agreement with Canadian heavy-hitter, Aurora Cannabis Inc. Micron specializes in developing on-site organic waste treatment systems, which rely on microorganisms to break down landfill-bound waste at your location.
Although historically dedicated to food waste, they have turned their awareness of the cannabis waste management procedures, as well as its subsequent waste problem. Their patent-pending technologies turn organic waste into clean water, and the testing phase is predicted to wrap up setting up an on-site test digester with an Aurora facility inside the next couple of months.
The Growing Problem With Cannabis Waste
In accordance with the recent statistics coming from B.C.’s southern neighbor, the condition of Washington, cannabis waste is becoming an actual headache both 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 should be treated as medical waste. In other places, some industrial composting companies decided to adhere to the government law as opposed to local state laws on cannabis. No matter what the underlying reason, Micron has zeroed about this costly industry headache as their next potential audience.
In Washington, composters report hauling from 3,000 to 4,000 pounds of waste a week off their cannabis clients. For most producers, maintaining compliance while at the same time upholding high environmental standards is really a near impossible task. In Washington state, industry experts believe that most cannabis waste simply goes right to the landfill. Few producers try and contract it out 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 to the commercial space, Micron is set to revolutionize the industry. They may be striving to perfect a modern digester, that can 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 ultimate product after on-site processing will likely be water clean enough to dump down the drain.
Aerobic Waste Management
The primary part of Micron’s innovative cannabis waste disposal system includes a tag team of mechanical and microorganism action, transforming the organic waste into sludge. The 2nd 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, this type of water is free from Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), Total Suspended Solids, Biochemical Oxygen (BOD) and any remaining fats, oils or grease (FOG).