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As we continue to shift towards a circular economy we need to keep asking more of ourselves in terms of how we manage the organic waste we all produce so that we may maximize the recovery and reuse of these potentially beneficial resources. This includes organic materials from food, yard, biosolids, and wood wastes among others. Diverting organics from landfills is a major step in achieving this goal.

In many jurisdictions the diversion of organic materials from landfills has been strongly encouraged, but largely voluntary. While this has been marginally effective overall, it has been said that we have reached the peak impact of voluntary diversion. Therefore, to achieve further increases in diversion rates, regulatory change is necessary. The lack of regulatory mandate for organic waste has not only stalled many resource-limited, small rural communities…

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While wastewater treatment plants and soils are very different systems, both have microbial populations which break down organic materials and convert nutrients in solution into more stable forms. While they exist in different environments and perform different functions, all microbial populations require a readily available food source to perform optimally.

You might have heard that there are more organisms in a teaspoon of soil than people on earth, but did you know what those billions of microbes do? Soil microbes help in decomposition and nutrient cycling. Recent studies have also shown that soil microbes play a far greater role in building soil organic matter than previously thought1,2. While it has been long understood that microbes play a role in building organic matter, the conventional thinking was that soil organic matter formation was driven, for the…

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Did you know that a plastic bag was recently found in one of the world’s most remote locations, at the bottom of the deepest part of the Pacific Ocean in Mariana’s Trench? If that doesn’t sound the alarm about the threat of plastic pollution, what will?
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As we gear up to celebrate Earth Day on April 22, let’s take this opportunity to celebrate this big, beautiful, green and blue orb we call home. Let us also take some time to remember that everything we have comes from our planet and everything we do has a direct impact on it. We’d all like to think our world can support us forever but the reality is that if we don’t treat her right, Mother Earth will not be able to do so. Earth Day 2018 is about changing human attitudes and behaviors around plastic waste.

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World Water Day 2018 arrives in the middle of droughts and floods around the world. There’s no better time to think about our collective water solutions and how we intend to meet the new and increasing water challenges of the 21st century. 

Nature for water is the theme of this year’s World Water Day. With so many of the world’s current water problems rooted in a misuse or destruction of natural systems through climate change, a restoration and replication of ecosystem functions is key to bringing resiliency back to the world’s water supplies.

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Soil Carbon Sequestration

This year has seen numerous unprecedented weather events, many of which scientists say are driven or exacerbated by climate change1. The vast majority of the scientific community are well aware that climate change is occurring due to excess greenhouse gas emissions, resulting in increased carbon in the atmosphere. However, did you know that soils actually contain more than 2 times the amount of carbon than is in the atmosphere?

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Biosolids and Soil Health

At the recent Summit on Canadian Soil Health in Guelph, Ontario, Don Lobb, a farmer and conservation leader in Canada emphasized the importance of proper management of soils:

“No civilization has ever survived the consequences of exploitative agriculture. As soil was degraded, the survivors moved on to new frontiers. Today, there are no new frontiers. We must take advantage of the one opportunity left- intensive, scientifically sound, responsible soil management that accommodates a healthy soil biota community”.

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When you are done eating an apple, you have a few different choices in terms of how to dispose of the core. If you simply throw it in the trash, it will end up in the local landfill and become just one more addition to the problem of global waste. However, if you compost that apple core, or place it into a green bin or equivalent organic “waste” collection unit,  the inherent nutrients can be returned to the soil as part of a more natural and sustainable, life cycle. Many of us have come to understand that this approach is far more sensible – and preferable, to landfilling. Moreover, new technologies and management methods are further expanding our field of options. Included in this are approaches like co-digestion of organics and biosolids at wastewater…

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