Enso Solutions Cannabis Waste Composting with Earth Flow

Enso Solutions Cannabis Waste Composting with Earth Flow

In 2019, ENSO Solutions, a leading Medical Marijuana Waste Management Provider in Oklahoma, obtained one of the state's earliest operational permits. Waste regulation is in general highly regulated within the medical marijuana industry, which drove ENSO's focus toward on-site composting opportunities.

Composting became central to their eco-friendly waste management mission. Amid evolving legal and public perceptions of the cannabis industry, ENSO seeks to both align with state regulations and exemplify responsible waste management practices. By meticulously managing the containment, secure handling, and eco-friendly disposal of significant volumes of organic and potentially hazardous waste originating from cultivation processes, they are helping to cast the industry in a positive light.

To compost effectively, ENSO selected an enclosed in-vessel system capable of operating efficiently within limited spaces while accommodating substantial material volumes. Easy accessibility and complete visibility during the composting processes was essential for allowing a close watch over the degradation of diverse, often dry-consistency materials.

ENSO envisioned an automated and streamlined composting process as a key driver of operational efficiency, enabling their team to allocate more time to core business activities, including nurturing client relations and fostering company growth.

Enso Solutions invested in Earth Flow IM20 in-vessel composting system from Green Mountain Technologies (GMT), capable of processing approximately 1,500 pounds of green waste daily. 

Housed in a compact warehouse, the system's innovative design includes an outdoor biofilter to effectively neutralize odors arising from the composting process. Enso highly values the compact form and small footprint of the Earth Flow, as it allows them to closely monitor each stage of the composting process.

A thorough analysis of each unique feedstock's nutrient profiles was conducted by GMT specialists, the results of which led to tailored recommendations for material adjustments and processing refinements. Since the installation in 2021, Enso's operations have thrived, prompting exploration of a boutique bagged finished compost product to further boost company revenue. 

In the spring of 2023 Gaelan Brown of GMT conducted an interview with Colten Burris of Enso Solutions to check in about their composting program.

Gaelan: Can you give us a brief overview of the Enso Solutions composting process with the Earth Flow in-vessel system? 

Colten: “We are using the Earth Flow to compost all residuals of the Cannabis plant (flower, leaves, stalks, root balls), along with wood chips/mulch & water. The material is processed in the Earth Flow for two to three weeks, then cured before it is ready to use in soils.”

Gaelan: Can you tell us a little about how composting is important to the legal cannabis industry in Oklahoma, and why you see composting as the best solution to cannabis waste management?

Colten:Waste regulation is the important part. Composting provides an environmentally friendly way to process the organic matter produced by the industry. Oklahoma outlines the approved means of destruction for the cannabis plant, with options like incineration/burning. But composting was a no brainer.”

“Both the rule of law and public opinion remain divided regarding cannabis. We want to show that the industry can be a positive force in the community by keeping the large amount of organic (potentially hazardous) waste contained, secured, and destroying it in an environmentally friendly way.”

Gaelan: Approximately how many cubic yards or tons of cannabis waste can your system process per month? 

Colten: We produce roughly 40 cubic yards of compost a month from our two Earth Flow systems, including about 40% shrinkage during the composting process. The average monthly output of the 20ft Earth Flow is between 5-15 cubic yards, and with our 40ft Earth Flow we produce between 15 to 30 cubic yards of compost per month.”

Gaelan: How would you describe the “return on investment” of your Earth Flow systems? 

Colten: Without the Earth Flow in-vessel composting system our business would look much different because the Earth Flow allows us to operate indoors. Our facility is located only 4 miles from downtown Oklahoma City. This would not be possible using a Windrow or outdoor aerated static pile system for permitting, cost, and environmental reasons. The Earth Flow also allows us to prevent and control potential hazards such as odors, gasses and leachate/water runoff.”

Gaelan: Many people think it takes 4 to 6 months to make high quality compost. How would you describe the quality of the compost produced from the short two to three week process of the Earth Flow? 

Colten: The Earth Flow method gives the operator control over almost everything. This lets you create and maintain the best conditions for composting. producing and premium compost/product in a fraction of the time.”

Gaelan: How important is your composting system to your potential for growth and expansion?

Colten: Our process for destroying and recycling cannabis waste is built around our Earth Flow systems! So, it is VERY IMPORTANT!”

Gaelan: What would you recommend people do if they want to get involved with cannabis composting for their own facility or as a service offered to producers? 

Colten: “First of all, check the local regulations and permitting requirements to gauge if it is something worth taking on. Secondly, gain a general understanding of composting and what it takes to operate on a commercial scale. It is not the same as the backyard box for food scraps and grass clippings. And third, make sure you have a plan in place for keeping the machine running. Sophisticated machines and processes require a decent understanding of mechanical theory to maintain and repair. Finding someone to fix it isn’t easy or cheap and without proper maintenance it is going to break. Decide if that is something you can handle. And finally, if you decide it is not worth the headache….CALL ENSO!! We’ll do it for you!”

To learn more about Enso Solutions visit https://ensosolutionsllc.com/about/ 

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