Green Mountain Technologies compost solution for cannabis growing waste the right fit for Flowr
Earth Flow system is turning cannabis plant waste into nutrient-rich soil in three weeks
Flowr, a cannabis production company located outside of Toronto, recently reached out to Green Mountain Technologies (GMT) to find an affordable option for processing their cannabis waste, and one that complies with regulations. They also were on a tight timeline.
U.S. and Canadian cannabis growing operations face stringent regulations for disposal of cannabis plant waste, including the requirement to shred plant waste and mix it with an inert substance like cat litter, sand, plastic waste, or sawdust until it's deemed "unrecognizable and irrecoverable."
According to Green Mountain Technologies (GMT) this adds extra labour costs, doubles disposal costs and is not environmentally sustainable.
The GMT solution for efficiently managing cannabis waste at Flowr 's operations is a 32-foot refurbished custom steel vessel called Earth Flow. The composter includes a computer-controlled auger and a continuous flow design, allowing growers to add new material every day and harvest finished product every seven days. The entire process from unloading to discharging the final product takes between 14-21 days.
According to GMT, this is a highly efficient model for composting compared to other methods and allows customers to use the fertile compost created by the process as a soil amendment right away.
Since their installation of the GMT Earth Flow system, Flowr says they cut down on costs and manufacturing time significantly, and they now have access to a nutrient-rich, pathogen-free soil that is available as a substrate for continued growing operations. Plus, they have eliminated the need to buy new soils and fertilizers. Flowr estimates that they will pay off their investment in less than a year.
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.