It is important for any corporate business strategy to consider the impact of resources, budget and the return on investment. A beneficial reuse strategy is no different. The true benefits of a beneficial reuse partnership with Wakefield BioChar is the understanding that the environmental and societal benefits go hand-in-hand with operational improvements.
- Reduce landfill space at the mills. Prolonging the useful life of existing mill environmental landfills and, ultimately, pursuing a Zero Landfill strategy.
- Fulfillment of a circular economy. The biomass waste material no longer needs to sit idle and decompose in a landfill. The repurposing of the organic matter to a premium soil conditioner brings new life to land all across the country and reduces the waste material concerns of the mills almost entirely.
- Reduction of CO2 The conversion of biomass to biochar creates a fixed carbon material that will not decompose into greenhouse gases. The biochar can be sequestered into the soil to benefit plant growth and root health while eliminating any potential hazards to global warming.
- Reduced operating expenses and reduced environmental hazards. A properly designed and implemented beneficial reuse program creates less environmental risk and hazard. In the production of biochar from the biomass a considerable amount of energy is generated and made available to the mills in the form of RNG’s or steam. This energy reduces costs to the mill along with the added savings of much smaller footprint needed for landfill operations.
- Unrealized gain to regional agriculture and to backyard gardeners all over the country. The recycling of wood-sourced biomass waste will improve soil health for all types of planting. Without identifying this ‘waste’ and injecting it back into the soil with the beneficial intent of growing food crops, turf for parks and flowers for your home we would all suffer from the unrealized potential of the wood ash, fiber and lime that would, unfortunately, not go beyond the mill property.
Beneficial reuse for the planet
An overwhelming challenge is at the world’s doorstep. How do we maintain our natural resources and, at the same time, provide the food, clothing and shelter we need to thrive in our societies? With over 7 billion people to care for there is no simple path to growth and prosperity that doesn’t also walk us all towards a complete failure in our infrastructure unless we are able to implement a circular economy strategy in all major industrial operations.
The Beneficial Reuse Division of Wakefield BioChar is dedicated to realizing the benefits of biomass waste management from industrial operations particularly with agriculture. The management of the carbon-rich and nutrient dense wood waste so that it is a useful amendment to farmland across the country will improve our ability to grow food in soil that is safe from chemicals and safe from our environment.
There are different types of biomass waste that can be considered for the beneficial reuse and recycling.
The wood fiber, wood ash and lime mud byproducts of the paper mill industry can create considerable concerns in the operations of the mill. Primarily, this material must be removed from the primary operations of the mill so that manufacturing can continue uninterrupted. The space required in an environmental landfill is considerable and the monitoring of the material for potential environmental contamination is expensive. Among other issues, the organic material left to decompose in the landfill releases CO2 and other greenhouse gases (GHG’s) is no longer acceptable business practices. These same biomass waste materials are, potentially, excellent inputs for farming, turf management and landscaping.
Municipal wastewater – biosolids
The current process of managing biosolids and then land applying the treated material has been put under scrutiny and, in many cases, land application has been legislated against. The occurrence of PFAS in biosolids has created environmental concerns that many states are prohibited how the material is disposed back into the environment. In 2022, Maine House and Senate passed a bill (LD 1911) that would ban the use of biosolids that contain PFAS in land applications.
Wakefield BioChar has been working closely with large urban wastewater treatment facilities to develop a solution to biosolid disposal by removing all concerns of PFAS.
Beneficial Reuse For The Consumer
It may not seem intuitive to think that the demand for paper products has increased. We tend to use a digital interface for so much of our lives we are not recognizing the use of corrugated paper, paper as a replacement for some plastics has increased and replaced our use of printed books, magazines and newspapers. The output of pulp and paper mill sludge has not diminished and the environmental impact of that waste material is still a growing problem.
The cost for disposing of pulp and paper mill sludge is tremendous to paper mills. And, unfortunately, the tradition disposal method is more likely an environmental landfill allowing for decomposing biomass to negatively impact our environment with GHG’s. By partnering with Wakefield BioChar, these paper mills recognize a full circular economy that recycles the waste material into premium soil amendments for large agricultural and the backyard gardener. Wakefield BioChar is uniquely positioned to process and distribute its carbon-rich soil products across the country. Now the consumer, the backyard gardener, can participate in the circular economy by putting Wakefield biochar and compost products in the garden, the lawn and flower beds.
With Wakefield BioChar and its Beneficial Reuse Division we can now make a positive change to large industrial operations and allow each us of in our own home a chance to contribute to a better world.
Are you looking for a partner in beneficial reuse?
The beneficial reuse solutions from Wakefield BioChar can be scaled to meet the unique requirements of paper mills across the country. With industrial expertise in operations, permitting and the established outlets for recycled biomass in agriculture, filtration and remediation, the Wakefield team can rapidly integrate into biomass waste management operations of any large mill.
Learn more about partnership benefits with Wakefield BioChar and contact our staff with any questions.