By Larissa Cox
There are many challenges facing the horse industry today, but one that seems to be discussed often is manure disposal.
Manure disposal, including both the solid and liquid portions of waste, is comprised of approximately 60% solids and 40% urine. A typical 1000 pound horse produces about 31 pounds of feces per day and approximately 2.4 gallons of urine daily, totally approximately 51 pounds of daily raw waste disposal. In addition, stall cleaning may account for another 8 – 15 pounds of added waste resulting in a yearly figure that is quite staggering. To look at it in a visual perspective, a 1000 pound horse can produce enough waste annually to fill a 12 x 12 foot stall to a depth of 6.5 feet!! Now, that’s a lot of manure!!
There are several methods that horse owners use to dispose of their manure. First, composting is a very acceptable practice. However, high land costs limit the available sites to perform composting without adversely impacting neighbours.
Spreading manure on land is an option that seems to hold merit. This practice seems acceptable for blueberry fields and some other crops, but has not yet achieved widespread acceptance and use. Agriculture B.C. is currently examining the long-term ramifications of this practice carefully, and they are considering controlling this practice as their major concern is the dilution of soils with the addition of sawdust.
Many smaller farms stock pile their manure waste. This method can cause concern because of its adverse affect on aquifers and properties and because of odor concerns.
Landfill dumping has been used when no other option is available and is in use in the larger metropolitan areas. Transportation and landfill tipping costs are increasing significantly with many landfills not accepting manure as it interferes with the anaerobic decomposition of the site.
So, what other options are there for the horse owner?
GreenScene AgriTek Inc., a British Columbia owned company has developed a new, simple and cost effective technology for shredding and drying horse manure.
GreenScene takes soiled horse manure and bedding from the local horse community and by using a proprietary method, dries , shreds and blends the bedding removing all pathogens and environmentally harmful components. The dried residue produced is used as is, or can be converted into bedding pellets and then safely reused.
The heat generated in the drying cycle kills all pathogens in the manure and provides a safe, clean and environmentally friendly product ready to be pelletized. Processing the manure removes all the manure order and it is transformed into a safe, reusable material to be used as bedding in horse stalls, or even as pellet-burner fuel. With the bedding market in North American in excess of $4 billion per year, GreenScene believes that it can bring sustainability into the equine industry by providing a new revenue stream. You can follow GreenScene on Facebook at GreenScene Agriteck Inc. or Twitter at @GSAgritek.