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As the world population grows, the demand for food on a global scale also continues to increase annually. As a result, the pressure on agriculture to increase yields through innovation, improved practices and new efficiencies is constant. As the agricultural industry innovates and improves to meet world food demands, yield increases are realized. As a result, increasing fertilizer inputs are required to facilitate improved yields.

For some nutrients, like Phosphorus (an essential element for all living organisms), which is mined as phosphate-bearing rock in several countries (China, Morocco, the US, South Africa and Jordon control 90% of the world reserves), supply is also a factor in fertilizer prices in both the short and longer term. The Global Phosphorus Research Initiative estimates that within 30 to 40 years Phosphorus supplies will not be able to meet…

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In June 2015, the City of North Battleford, Saskatchewan was recognized with a national Environmental Award by the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA) for conversion of its traditional wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) and historical practice of landfilling biosolids into a an advanced and sustainable, Wastewater Resource Centre (WRRC). This was accomplished by being the first municipality in Western Canada to implement Lystek’s proven solutions for biosolids management. The City can also now claim that it is the first community in Western Canada to receive a federal registration from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) for the pathogen free, LysteGro® biofertilizer product now being produced at its WRRC. This is the sixth Lystek-enabled, thermal hydrolysis facility to receive this important distinction.

In the February edition of Treatment Plan Operator (TPO) the Cover Story…

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Recently the City of Montreal made international headlines when it announced controversial plans to dump eight billion litres of untreated sewage sludge into the St. Lawrence River so that it could repair a 30km long sewer pipe.

Objections to this decision were largely focused on the environmental and health impacts, which the City maintained would be “negligible.” While these are important concerns, many lost sight of a potentially more important story that goes to the heart of sustainability:

  • A potentially valuable resource was simply going to waste.

Unfortunately this isn’t an isolated case. Many major Canadian Cities continue to dump their raw sewage into waterways. Picturesque Victoria is a case in point. 129 million litres of untreated waste is piped directly into the marine waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca every day. The Pacific Ocean…

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The severe global consequences of food waste for climate, water and land use, and biodiversity were recently highlighted and analyzed by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The FAO report finds that 3.3 billion tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, a by-product of global food waste, are released into the atmosphere every year. To put this into perspective, this is more than the entire global shipping industry and results in an estimated $750 billion annual economic burden (excluding fish and seafood).

Increased production and release of greenhouse gases has been amplified from human activity and, as a result, rapidly increases the natural greenhouse effect. Since the industrial era, the over-production of greenhouse gases, primarily CO2, has contributed to increased global temperatures and severe environmental detriment.

Evaluating our current practices for agriculture, food production, and…

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The use of biosolids has long been criticized, misrepresented and misunderstood. The fact is that there is over 40 years of factual, scientific history behind the use of biosolids. For example, the issue was studied by a panel from the National Research Council (NRC) and, in its final report, entitled Biosolids Applied to Land: Advancing Standards and Practices, released in July, 2002, the overriding message was that. “There is no documented scientific evidence that the Part 503 rule has failed to protect public health. “ In fairness, however, the report did also state that “additional scientific work is needed to reduce persistent uncertainty about the potential for adverse human health effects from exposure to biosolids.”

In the years since the 2002 National Academy study, research scientists and U. S. EPA have continued to evaluate the…

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On Saturday, September 26th as part of WEFTEC 2015, I am honoured to have been invited to join with a team of highly respected, seasoned biosolids management communications leaders to share our experiences and help facilitate an informative and exciting workshop. The workshop – You Can’t Hide a Biosolids Program! (But You Can Communicate It…) – will provide you with a distillation of over 20 years of experience and effective tools to gain or improve public support for your biosolids programs. This workshop closes the gap that can exist in biosolids programs between technical excellence and communications excellence. If you attend, you will gain an understanding of the critical importance of proactive communications regarding biosolids management programs, while learning from the recent experiences other program leaders have faced. This will build your confidence in…

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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…

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Land Application of Biosolids

As the raw materials required to create chemical fertilizers are being depleted, our food supply demands that biosolids be recycled as biofertilizer to meet the needs of sustainable agriculture. This practice is supported by leading scientific organizations and their governments in the UK, the European Union and North America.

With decades of practice and exhaustive analysis, all have attested that the properly processed landing application of biosolids has had no negative affect on human health. And at a time when the increasing cost of chemical fertilizers is eroding margins required for the ongoing and successful production of crops, advanced biofertilizer products are able to replace at least some of the nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) potassium (K) and organic matter our soils require to remain healthy without incurring further fertilizer input costs.


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