Micron Waste Technologies, a Vancouver-based organic waste technology company, began working with Aurora Cannabis in late 2017 to develop a waste solution specific to the cannabis industry, says Micron’s president, Alfred Wong.
Many regulatory, operational and environmental issues must be considered when dealing with cannabis waste. Canadian regulations mandate that cannabis producers render plant waste unusable. It must be mixed 50/50 with an organic medium—soil, cardboard or food waste, Wong says. (Many U.S. states have similar requirements.) If a cannabis producer wants to dispose of plant waste in a landfill or an outside compost facility, a senior person from the company must follow the truck to the landfill and watch the plants be destroyed. A past rule also mandated that the cannabis waste be kept in a vault during transit, although those regulations have since been relaxed. While composting is another option for on-site waste disposal, it requires both time and space to complete the process.
“Right now, in the industry, other solutions treat it as a food waste problem, thinking that cannabis, because it’s a plant, can go through the same process as other [materials], but we actually feel that that’s not the case,” Wong says.
Wong says an on-site waste treatment system can help cultivators avoid these time-consuming processes and reduce compliance risks.
Micron’s waste treatment system is