17.7 million tons of food waste go through an agricultural waste pathway every year. Although food waste and agricultural waste are used synonymously, they’re two very different things.
Interested in learning the difference? If so, keep reading to learn more about what agricultural waste is. We’ll also talk about new sustainable technology that’s evolving in agriculture waste management.
What Is Agriculture Waste?
Agriculture waste is what’s left after the farming process. Agriculture waste consists of plant and animal waste (like manure), crop waste (i.e. culls), and toxic agriculture waste.
Toxic agricultural waste is the pesticides and herbicides used on crops. It’s also leftover animal manure and phosphate fertilizers used on farms.
Often, these chemicals will runoff and contaminate local drinking water and the environment. However, we make progress every day to help make waste management more sustainable.
For instance, our development of using microbes as fertilizer. Offering a chemical-free alternative for farmers.
Building An Agricultural Waste Management System
Three factors go into a waste management system. They are collection, treatment, and storage.
The first step is collecting all the waste. Set up a schedule and strategic collection areas for a streamlined method of collection.
Maintaining a schedule and many collection areas keeps the work from becoming overwhelming.
Next is treating the waste. Leaving waste untreated can lead to runoff and other harmful effects. Treatment alters the physical composition of the waste into a more manageable state.
Before doing this, it’s essential to consider what the waste consists of and what characteristics of the waste need changing. Understanding these components will change the needed treatment process.
Finally, it’s time to store and package the waste. Proper storage offers flexibility and control over the disposal process. Waste management areas have specialized storage units.
If turning the waste into fertilizer, then consider specialized packaging machines to help pack and ship the product.
That’s Not All…
Building a sustainable agricultural waste management system is great for the planet. But did you know it’s great for companies too?
Mulch, energy, fertilizer, and organic matter are all derived from waste that has been treated and recycled correctly. Fertilizer is the most common recycled use. However, all forms of recycled waste prove to be profitable.
By recycling waste, you save money and earn money by selling to other farms. Sustainable handling of agricultural waste is a profitable investment and it ends up bringing in more money than what’s saved on inappropriate disposal.
Agriculture Waste Management: Why It Matters
Handling anything without care can have severe negative effects. Agriculture waste management is no different. But when handling waste management the right way, it becomes marketable and sustainable.
We hope this article provides a clearer understanding of what agricultural waste management is. Here at Earnest, we strive to educate others about sustainable practices and how to achieve them.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us or check out our blog for more information. We’re here to help!