Waste management is a crucial step in the cannabis production process, but one step that rarely receives the interest 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 simple as a quick visit to the local landfill, or an easy composting bin.
Micron Waste Technologies, headquartered in Vancouver, BC, Canada, has put into a collaboration agreement with Canadian heavy-hitter, Aurora Cannabis Inc. Micron concentrates on developing on-site organic waste treatment systems, which count on microorganisms to break down landfill-bound waste on location.
Although historically centered on food waste, they may have turned their focus on the cannabis waste management procedures, along with its subsequent waste problem. Their patent-pending technologies turn organic waste into clean water, and also the testing phase is predicted to wrap up installing an on-site test digester at an Aurora facility in the next month or two.
The Growing Problem With Cannabis Waste
Based on the recent statistics coming out of B.C.’s southern neighbor, the state Washington, cannabis waste is becoming a real headache both 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 areas, some industrial composting companies have decided to follow the government law rather than local state laws on cannabis. Whatever the underlying reason, Micron has zeroed on this costly industry headache as his or her next target market.
In Washington, composters report hauling away from 3,000 to 4,000 pounds of waste every week off their cannabis clients. For the majority of producers, maintaining compliance while at the same time upholding high environmental standards is a near impossible task. In Washington state, skilled professionals believe that most cannabis waste simply goes right to the landfill. Few producers make an effort to contract it out for an industrial composter.
Through its agreement with Aurora, and 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 are striving to perfect a cutting-edge digester, which will process all organic materials (soils, stems, stalks, leaves, and much 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 will likely be water clean enough to dump down the sink.
Aerobic Waste Management
The initial step in Micron’s innovative cannabis waste disposal system includes 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 of charge from Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), Total Suspended Solids, Biochemical Oxygen (BOD) and any remaining fats, oils or grease (FOG).