Increasing Demand Helps Offset Biosolids Management Costs
Lystek’s core business involves the diversion and processing of biosolids and organics into a range of value-added products including the marketing and sales of LysteGroⓇ, a U.S. EPA Class A quality, high solid, liquid biofertilizer product in high demand from the agricultural sector. The product is also registered as a bulk mineral fertilizer with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and, in Canada, with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). This translates into excellent marketability and opportunities for revenue sharing arrangements with our customers. Lystek will surpass 1 million tons of LysteGro biofertilzer sold and responsibly managed by the end of 2019.
Lystek leverages its low temperature Thermal Hydrolysis Process (Lystek THP®) and value-added service offerings to manage the requirements of a growing number of generators of biosolids and organic residuals across North America. Solutions are provided via our numerous in-plant deployments and two large regional processing centers in Ontario, Canada and California, U.S.A. Each regional facility has an annual processing capacity of 150,000 tons per year and the collective of all Lystek-enabled treatment plants now totals over 395,000 tons annually. As part of our unique approach, Lystek has been expanding its offerings and providing end-to-end resource recovery and product management services to the sector since 2012.
For example, in the town of Elora (Township of Centre Wellington), Ontario, Lystek has built a strong and growing market for LysteGro, selling 100% of the product into the local farm sector since the program officially launched in 2016. This program focuses on producing a high quality, federally registered fertilizer product that Lystek markets to area farmers. Growing demand for LysteGro has led to steadily increasing product prices and, due to the revenue sharing model between Centre Wellington and Lystek, returns have outpaced inflation and reduced the municipality’s biosolids management costs in recent years. By the third application season the customer saw a decrease in the costs of its program.
“It is showing to be a highly valued product in our area, and, as proof of that, our revenue sharing returns have reduced our biosolids management fees. That’s a real game changer,” says John den Hoed, Supervisor of Wastewater Services for the Township of Centre Wellington.
Meanwhile, Lystek has also built a strong and growing market for the LysteGro product produced at the 150,000 ton per year, regional Organic Material Recovery Center it owns and operates in the Township of Southgate, Ontario (Southgate OMRC). In this area, product values have also been steadily increasing, with all LysteGro product being sold-out annually since the program began in 2013.
One of the key factors to the success of these programs has been the undertaking of third party agronomic trials and best management practices to demonstrate the effectiveness of LysteGro, both as a replacement for commercial fertilizer and as a means to build soil health. Even with increasing market prices and some revenue sharing to help offset management costs, the farmer is still receiving great value for the product, which has a high concentration of NPK as well as micronutrients and organic matter. Based on comparative pricing, to realize the total NPK equivalent in purchased commercial fertilizer, the cost would be approximately three times the current market price of LysteGro.
“Populations continue to grow and the resources required to make chemical fertilizers are being depleted. That is why the demand for responsible and affordable technology and practical solutions, including products like LysteGro, will continue to increase over time. At the same time, regulations around landfill diversion for organics are getting more stringent across North America and around the globe,” says Kurt Meyer, President of Lystek International. “We are proud to offer solutions that eliminate “waste” while contributing to the health and growth of the circular economy.”