IAF Helps Livestock Sector Tackle Disposal Challenges

With increasing focus on the safety and security of our local ag sector, developing collaborative solutions to industry’s most pressing issues has never been more imperative – or in the case of the 2020 Livestock Waste Tissue Initiative (LWTI) relaunch, more productive!

Following a discussion with the BC Association of Abattoirs (BCMeats) on the current disposal challenges facing meat processors, we began exploring opportunities to refocus the former funding program. Initiated in 2005 with funding from the BC Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, the LWTI was established to deliver the BC Waste and Specified Risk Material Handling and Disposal Strategy.

“Over the years IAF has delivered LWTI funding to help BC’s agricultural communities develop viable waste disposal solutions,” says IAF Executive Director, Michelle Koski. “Naturally, we were eager to revive this important program and have worked closely with both industry and government to align current sector needs with the original framework.”

After coordinating consultations with the provincial government, BCMeats, the Small-Scale Meat Producers’ Association and the BC Cattlemen’s Association, the revitalized initiative was launched in August to support affordable disposal options for animal tissue waste.

Given the increasingly limited options available to processors and the rising costs of waste disposal, BCMeats Executive Director, Nova Woodbury is relieved industry can now access the support it needs.

“The re-opening of LWTI funding has allowed meat processors across the province to invest in methods of disposal that meet their specific needs,” says Woodbury. “Thank you to IAF for helping to facilitate a practical solution to this critical problem, we appreciate their commitment to developing responsive programming that addresses industry priorities.”

Nearly 25 projects are now underway across the province, helping BC operators upgrade infrastructure, enhance transportation methods, and invest in new equipment like the Ecodrum. Thanks to this Canadian-made composting system, BC processors will be able to save time, money and increase regional capacity for more remote communities like Salt Spring Island.

With neither composting facilities or landfill sites to handle the 24 tonnes of annual waste generated by its 60 local livestock producers, the Salt Spring Abattoir Society has long grappled with the financial, environmental and logistical challenges posed by off-island shipping and on-farm composting alternatives. But with construction of their first composting facility in the works and project funding to purchase and install the Ecodrum, the Society will soon be able to process abattoir waste into Class A compost in accordance with BC’s Organic Matter Recycling Regulations.

“The Ecodrum system allows for adding modules to increase capacity as needed in the longer term,” explains society president, Anne Macey. “We believe this system will significantly reduce operating costs while protecting the environment from nutrient-rich runoff, eliminating nuisance odour and simultaneously producing a valuable soil amendment.”

Visit the Livestock Waste Tissue Initiative to learn more.

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