Lystek process to convert biosolids to fertilizer for City of Santa Rosa, California
The City of Santa Rosa, California recently approved a multi-year agreement with Lystek International Limited to manage a significant amount of the city's annual biosolids production at the Fairfield Organics Materials Recovery Centre (OMRC). The Lystek process converts biosolids into nutrient-rich LysteGro biofertilizer which is sold to the agriculture industry.
Under the terms of the Agreement, approved March 5, 2020, the Board of Public Utilities awarded a five-year initial term to Lystek with options for an additional six years. The value of the initial Agreement is in excess of $6,000,000 and continues the customer relationship between Santa Rosa and Lystek.
The City of Santa Rosa searched for long-term options for biosolids management during the winter season and continued options for beneficial use. The city's goal was to diversify biosolids management practices due to pending state-wide regulations requiring diversion of organics from landfills and other less beneficial alternatives. Lystek provided a unique opportunity to continue with a high-value end-use management program for processing biosolids into a nutrient-rich fertilizer product. Marketed as LysteGro®, Lystek's biofertilizer is in high demand in the Northern California area by farmers and ranchers. The additional volume of biosolids from the city will allow Lystek to extend its fertilizer program to more local agricultural users.
The City of Santa Rosa has been recognized for its leadership in biosolids management, and, with the approval of its Agreement with Lystek, the city will continue its offering of beneficial uses and recycling credits for biosolids production volumes. Since opening in 2016, Lystek Fairfield OMRC has received and processed over 100,000 tons of biosolids. The OMRC utilizes the patented and proven, low-pressure Thermal Hydrolysis Process (LystekTHP®) to convert biosolids and other organic materials into the LysteGro® fertilizer. Within its first year of operations, the product was licensed by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) for use as a bulk fertilizer and has been widely accepted as a high-nutrient product. Area growers value LysteGro® because it offers an alternative to chemical and synthetic-based fertilizer. LysteGro® also contains organic matter and micronutrients for sustaining and building soil health.
"This Agreement will allow the City of Santa Rosa to have long-term certainty that its biosolids will be safely managed and properly used as a beneficial agricultural fertilizer in the region. The city was one of the first communities to work with Lystek to bring our Fairfield facility on-line in 2016, and this new contract is a validation that we have fulfilled our commitments in the past," says Jim Dunbar, General Manager of the Fairfield, California based OMRC.
For Lystek, this Agreement will continue with the steady growth in production since its opening in 2016. The OMRC is rapidly expanding and demonstrating Lystek's ability to divert hundreds of thousands of tons of biosolids from landfills annually and produce a highly valued fertilizer product. With over ten agencies in the Bay Area as Lystek customers, the Fairfield OMRC has proven its value to the wastewater community.
"The opportunity to serve the City of Santa Rosa furthers our long-term commitment to protect the environment and support local agriculture." Mr. Dunbar adds.
Traditionally, waste management companies have operated using a simple "management of waste" approach to operating a MRF. Throughput targets and continuous operation (minimal downtime) were the main driving forces. The industry has changed however, and the focus moving forward is now on optimizing system performance and reliability, in conjunction with increasing recycling rates and a drive for a "greener" and more sustainable tomorrow.
When considering the addition of, or upgrade to, an "intelligent" MRF, for municipalities or private operators, the main factors should always be the client's (operator) current requirements, and evolving market needs, which include throughput, reliability, output quality, and adaptability. Equally important is a full understanding of what is really expected from any proposed system. Having an engaged and focused mindset for the project with the client from the beginning, will impact and drive the entire design process. This then impacts the overall project result, through to the productive, efficient, ongoing operation of the facility itself.