Waste management is a vital part of the cannabis production process, but one 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 easy as a quick trip to the regional landfill, or perhaps 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 focuses on developing on-site organic waste treatment systems, which depend on microorganisms to get rid of down landfill-bound waste at your location.
Although historically dedicated to food waste, they have turned their focus on the marijuana waste management plan, as well as its subsequent waste problem. Their patent-pending technologies turn organic waste into water that is clean, and also the testing phase is predicted to wrap up the installation of an on-site test digester at an Aurora facility inside the next few months.
The Growing Problem With Cannabis Waste
Based on the recent statistics emerging from B.C.’s southern neighbor, the condition of Washington, cannabis waste has become a real headache for both 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 decided to adhere to the government law rather than local state laws on cannabis. No matter what the underlying reason, Micron has zeroed on this costly industry headache his or her next target audience.
In Washington, composters report hauling from 3,000 to 4,000 pounds of waste per week using their cannabis clients. For many 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 try and contract it out to an industrial composter.
Through its agreement with Aurora, and also 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 a cutting-edge digester, that can process all organic materials (soils, stems, stalks, leaves, and more) into grey water iaouzk meets municipal discharge standards. Whether the producer depends on 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 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, the water is provided for free from Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), Total Suspended Solids, Biochemical Oxygen (BOD) and any remaining fats, oils or grease (FOG).