GFL Shares Bio-Cycle Sustainability Story
Farm Forum Event in Calgary includes tour of GFL's Bio-Cycle Solutions' Nutrient Recycling Centre
At the Farm Forum Event in early December, in Calgary, GFL's Bio-Cycle Solutions hosted a tour of the Nutrient Recycling Centre where they collect the organic waste needed to make their fertilizer product, Bio-Sul. Director of Organic Solutions for Green for Life, Don Francis, says the Centre collects about 35,000 tonnes of organic waste a year from restaurants and grocery stores in the Calgary area. The organic waste is removed from it's packaging at the facility, and turned into what they like to call "goo", which gets mixed with carbon, straw and wood waste at one of their compost sites.
Francis, says their end product is a sulfur amended compost used as a fertilizer for commercial agriculture. "That is a blend of our compost that we manufacture from the nutrients on the waste stream side, and then that is mixed with other macro nutrients, such as sulfur, to make our product."
Bio-Sul is consists 70 per cent of elemental sulfur and 30 per cent of compost. Francis, says the fertilizer is typically used in a canola, wheat, pea rotation.
"What we found is the benefits are dramatic in terms of agronomy, but also logistics are big. You only have to apply it once every five years," continues Francis. "The up front investment is well worth it in the end."
He says, he'd like people to really understand the amount of food that gets thrown away unnecessarily, and the value of recycling nutrients. "Whether you're a consumer, or an operator of a business, what you buy, how much you buy, when you buy it, to avoid what you see here today. And secondly, I want people to start understanding the value of recycling nutrients. You can recycle nutrients like any other recyclable, just like paper, plastic, cardboard, metal, the nutrients in our organic waste stream are very valuable."
Francis adds that organic nutrients can be repurposed and made into all kinds of products to grow new food, and there needs to be more effort put into capturing organic nutrients.