As populations in Canada and around the world continue to grow, more and more pressures are being put on communities (i.e. municipalities and other generators) of biosolid and residual “waste” to develop long-term, sustainable solutions for the management of these materials. These pressures range from concerns about pathogens, heavy metals, odours and Green House Gas emissions to the day-to-day operational logistics and costs of management.
At the same time, it is also well known and agreed that the global supply of phosphates, one of the key ingredients required to produce chemical fertilizers, are being rapidly depleted. This poses a very real threat to the long-term security of our global food supply. Within the industry itself, there has long been an understanding that biosolids and residuals can be successfully recycled as a way to meet the needs of sustainable agriculture and other beneficial uses.
However, when all of these factors are also combined with a public that has unlimited access to information and is more informed and educated than ever before, the result is a rapid acceleration in the demand for advancements in the way these materials are viewed, and subsequently managed. We are entering into a time where pressures are mounting across the board for real, practical solutions that not only respect the environment and deal with challenges and concerns related to odours, pathogens and GHG’s but also how the real value in these raw resources can be fully harnessed, maximized and utilized.
This presents us with many challenges…but also with opportunities to adapt and succeed.
New and innovative approaches for the treatment and management of biosolids and organics are not only available right now to help address these challenges but indeed, they are playing a key role in contributing to the changing landscape of biosolids and residuals utilization. From ongoing developments in composting to advancements in low heat, low cost thermal hydrolysis technologies (such as www.lystek.com) , forward-thinking professionals from the scientific, technical, agrology and engineering communities are listening to, and working with, generators to better understand these challenges – and they are delivering real, pragmatic results.
Together, we are working hard to keep improving the safety, quality and characteristics of these materials, reduce volumes and costs, develop and implement best practices. These efforts are playing a pivotal role in moving the industry forward. We are all committed to finding new, innovative methods to capture both the nutrient and energy resources within the wastewater treatment process, while also protecting human health and our shared environment.