The cannabis industry is growing fast and so is the amount of waste growers produce. While California and Colorado enjoy full legalization, other states have been patiently waiting for regulations to loosen. In 2019, the Oklahoma Marijuana Waste Management Act opened the opportunity to a particular niche of the cannabis industry: waste management, granting 10 permits to private companies to manage cannabis waste.
The permits were scooped up quickly, but Enso Solutions was one of the lucky companies to obtain a permit. After researching various composting vessels, Enso chose Green Mountain Technologies’ Earth FlowTM In Vessel System.
BUSINESS REVOLVES AROUND THE EARTH FLOW
As a waste management company in a highly regulated industry, Enso Solutions reduces the hassle and wastefulness of disposing of cannabis in a landfill. With Enso’s composting process, cannabis growers are ensured that their cannabis waste transforms back into soil; an incentive for both businesses and the environment. With their business model, compost product is donated to Oklahoma City for tax breaks or sold to gardening companies in the area.
“We are getting a product that is raw and trying to turn it into a useful compost after it comes out of the Earth Flow,” says Justin of Enso Solutions.
Similar to the cannabis industry, composting is still an emerging market in Oklahoma. Enso Solutions is very excited to begin working in an industry that is contributing to the sustainability of the environment.
WHY THEY CHOSE THE EARTH FLOW
COMPACT DESIGN AND VISIBILITY
Enso Solutions loves the Earth FlowTM for many reasons, but the two biggest advantages are its compact nature and the ability to see inside the vessel while the composting process is occurring. “This machine being so compact and producing a quality product will hopefully generate revenue for us as a company,” explained Andy. The entire Enso Solutions operation is located in a small warehouse with the exception of an outdoor biofilter that filters odors from the composter making the fully enclosed design of the Earth Flow a real advantage.
Enso Solutions also loves the Earth Flow because you can visibly see the compost process while it’s occurring. Other in-vessel composting options like drum technology and cylinders don’t allow operators to observe the system in process. With visibility there is increased ability to troubleshoot any potential mixing or recipe problems.
ENSO’S UNIQUE CHALLENGE: DIVERSE FEEDSTOCKS
The main challenge Enso Solutions faced during startup was the massive diversity in incoming feedstocks.
The cannabis waste comprised 12 different feedstocks including THC-infused gels, liquids, powders and plant matter (leaves, roots, stems and soil). With the addition of products that had already undergone manufacturing processes, the mixture was dry and not homogenizing well. Also, stems from marijuana plants were wrapping around the Earth Flow’s auger impeding mixing.
GMT’S SOLUTION: ANALYSIS AND PRELIMINARY TREATING MEASURES
To solve Enso’s unique problems, Van, Earth Flow Specialist at GMT, estimated carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorous content of each of the unique feedstocks and recommended balanced recipes. He also assisted with purchasing a grinder to help break up the cannabis plants to a proper particle size prior to going into the vessel. Van was on-site at Enso Solutions in Oklahoma City for three days, troubleshooting their composting process, a routine process of educating and developing proper composting methodology for Earth Flow customers to ensure long-term success in their composting process.
Interested in how you could use the Earth Flow on your site? Reach out to us today!