Commercial quantities of plant waste are shipped to landfills across the U.S. and Canada by the truckload every day. The ecological and economic impact of this practice could spell disaster for an industry that hopes to become a leader in global sustainability, unless Micron’s impressive new composter can curb the waste and lower the costs associated with going green. This small startup is helping one of Canada’s largest retail cannabis cultivators reduce their environmental impact with impressive new tech.
Currently, all cannabis cultivators waste is being trucked to local landfills, adding to the carbon footprint of an industry that is expected to generate more than 6,000 tons of waste per year by 2020. Micron Waste Technologies is attempting to solve this problem with their newest waste treatment solution by joining forces with Aurora Cannabis Inc., one of Canada’s largest licensed producers. Aurora will be installing Micron’s onsite waste digester unit by June of 2018. The Micron waste digester is essentially a high-efficiency composter capable of breaking down solid organic waste within just a few days, as opposed to traditional composting which can take up to a month. The waste is then separated into sewage friendly biosolids and recyclable water to be used in other applications around the manufacturing center, like watering plants or cleaning more waste.
Cam Battley, chief operating officer for Aurora, recently spoke with the Vancouver Sun regarding their investment in Micron’s new technology: “[Micron’s process] was an elegant technological solution that was entirely in line with how we do everything.” Current regulations require cannabis producers to track their products from seed to sale to landfill. With very few producers composting their own waste and the inherent inefficiency of trucking waste to landfills, Micron’s solution is not only environmentally friendly, it’s cost efficient. It also takes up very little space in the production facility, leaving more room for grow operations to increase the producer’s bottom line.
Micron is set to make a large impact in the long-term sustainability of commercial grow operations in the U.S. and Canada. The company anticipates bringing the product to commercial markets by late 2018. The installation will help Micron refine the technology prior to public release and establish Aurora as a leader in sustainability for Canada’s budding cannabis cultivation communities.