Author Archives: Marcus


Top Waste Management Trends

Waste management has gone through drastic changes over the past few years. For instance, waste management companies Toronto have come up with eco-friendly ways to collect and dispose of wastes. Governmental organizations have stepped up their campaigns against inappropriate waste disposal practices. Not to mention, there are new trends that are currently shaping up this industry. Here are some of them.
Bans on PlasticPlastics take hundreds or thousands of years to photo-degrade. This is bad for the local ecosystems and wildlife. Many cities around the globe have started to address the plastic waste generated within their boundaries. Many of them have resorted to ban food packaging made from polystyrene foam. Polystyrene bags are light and can be carried around by wind. There is also a possibility that the styrene compounds can seep into the ground. The bans on plastic bags are expected to spread to less developed countries in the next ten years.

Biodegradable plastics

The is currently a drastic shift in demand for biodegradable plastic materials all over the world. With the increasing pressure from governments and environmental organizations, many companies have no any other choice but to embrace these materials for packaging. Pundits expect the demand to increase by 19 percent before the end of 2017. Plant-based resins continue to be the most-preferred option to replace non-biodegradable materials.

Mandatory composting

Only a small fraction of 26 million tons of waste are composed. A large portion of them is disposed off in landfills. This means that there are millions of tons of food waste sitting in landfills for several years. Most people do not see the importance of converting these wastes into useful composts for personal and municipal gain. As a result, most municipalities have come up with stringent measures to compel people to embrace composting.

Energy production from organic waste

There are several cities all over the world where budding eco-technology is being piloted. Anaerobic digestion technology has taken over in waste management. Scientists can now take materials form waste disposal bins and turn them into sustainable energy. This development in anaerobic digestion is an indication of more things to come. We expect scientists to come up with materials that can digest up to 100 tons of organic materials in a day.

Recycling cigarettes

About 40 percent of wastes in roads and pathways are made up of cigarettes. Most bin rental companies have confirmed that they usually find a handful of cigarette butts during collection. However, there are some scientists who are working hard day in day out to deal with this issue. There is a recycling organization in the United States who allows people or companies to send their cigarette directly to them. There is some positive feedback from surveyors as people begin to realize there is a solution to this waste problem.

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Protecting Consumers Against Product Contamination with High-Tech Leak Detection Equipment

Contaminated food products can result in serious problems. These include the safety of consumers on the one hand and the food processor, product packaging company, manufacturers of packages, and other entities on the other hand. One are in which food contamination can occur is when a packaged product develops some type of leak, even one that is nothing more than the size of a pin prick.

Leak detection equipment provides a valuable tool to protect the interests of both consumers and entities involved in the stream of product distribution and sales as well. There are a variety of distinctions to be realized through the use of more high-tech leak detection equipment alternatives.

The Traditional Product Packaging Leak Detection Methodologies

Three of the most commonly utilized product packaging leak detection methodologies are pressure decay, bubble tests, and even the utilization of soapy water. A variety of negative elements are associated with these process, the most significant being that they are not highly efficient. In fact, utilizing these methodologies can be rather time consuming.

Another of the reasons why these methodologies are less than ideal rests in the fact that it really is impossible to efficiently test all product packaging in this manner. In the end, some of the packaging can be tested, and then the results must be somehow extrapolated to other packages that were not subjected to any physical testing.

Two problems are associated with the extrapolation process. First, if the equation is too stringent, an unnecessary number of packages are removed from the distribution and sales stream. This results in unnecessary loss of product and, ultimately, an increase in the cost of a product to a consumer.

Second, if the equation is too lax, the risk increases for contaminated product being passed through the distribution and sales system to consumers. This can present a major health risk, depending on the nature and extent of product contamination.

The High Tech Product Packaging Leak Detection Alternative

An example of a high-tech alternative for leak detection equipment is one that is based on a food-safe gas or combination of gasses. For example, there is leak detection equipment on the market today that utilizes a combination of hydrogen and nitrogen gas. The gasses are mixed in a formulation consisting of 95 percent nitrogen and 5 percent hydrogen. The gas combination is wholly safe.

One of the reasons that this alternative is proving to be a solid resource arises from the fact that it is a very efficient alternative, particularly when weighed against the three most common types of testing alternative. The gas can be utilized quickly, and in a manner that results in its nearly immediate dissipation. Again the gas used in this process is wholly safe. You may be able to learn more at the FlexPak website.


Technology meets Trash: The Use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Devices in Waste Management

Although it may come as a surprise to many people, even the trash bin engineering can be innovative; local governments and waste management companies are employing new and advanced technologies to aid them in management of waste. One of the recent technologies is the radio frequency identification (RFID) devices that are currently employed to link trash bins and recycling cans to owners, encourage recycling practices, and cut operational costs.

How it works

An RFID tag works by transmitting identification numbers as radio signals. This means that unlike barcodes, there is no need to scan the RFID tag. Instead small readers—small radios equipped with antennas to constantly emit signals—are placed on waste trucks to automatically read and detect the tags. Whenever any RFID tag comes within range, the signal of the reader supplies the tag with some bit of power to activate it. The activated tag then transmits its data, which is subsequently read and recorded by the reader.

The data contained in the RFID are small unique numbers that identify the bin to which it’s attached. It may also store name, phone number, and home address of the waste bin’s owner as well as other relevant information. The reader then sends the information on the tag to the database of waste management company where software applications put the data into use.


Generally, the goal of this versatile technology is to cut collection costs, reduce worker’s compensation claims, and create a ROI in waste management and recycling initiatives. By analyzing the data in the RFID tags, the waste management company will be in a position to minor a wide range of data such as the time it takes for a truck driver to move from one house to another, helping them to keep their productivity up.

More importantly, the data can be used to monitor how different households handle their wastes. Such data can be used to direct educational efforts to households that are lagging behind on recycling. These educational efforts will include distribution of electronic and printed literature, advice on the use of eco-friendly waste handling equipment (such as solar-powered trash compactor and other waste compaction equipment), mentions at community meetings, and personal visits by waste management inspectors. What’s more, the technology can be used to lower the number of employees required to operate the trucks and to identify customers who haven’t paid for waste collection services.


With time, even more application of RFID technology will be developed. Simply put, the current implementation of the technology by municipals and waste management companies represents the cusp of a new segment of technological exploration and espousal by the waste management industry. There is more information to be found at the Rotoble Compaction website.


U.S. hog, poultry firms to extend use of feed wheat”

U.S. hog, poultry firms to extend use of feed wheat

Wheat being used to stretch corn until 2012 harvest

published in The Cattlemen Magazine

October 15th, 2011

By: Julie Ingwersen and Mark Weinraub


The surprise drop in U.S. corn feed demand this summer may be only the beginning of a year-long reduction as chicken and hog producers break a long-held aversion to blending more wheat into rations.


What initially began as a summer fling with an unprecedented premium for corn prices over wheat has turned into an enduring trend as livestock producers lock in longer-term wheat deals — many of which can’t be quickly undone even as the corn price premium finally recedes.


Some livestock producers initially resisted the switch, fearing it would slow weight gain of their animals, or disrupt the eating habits. Now they have embraced its financial benefits, injecting a new dynamic into grain markets.


“We are going to continue feeding (wheat) so we can stretch the corn crop through the whole season. I think (corn) availability is going to be an issue this coming year as well,” says Tim Thomas, an independent pig producer in Timberlake, N.C., who has been using a 50-50 mix.


“Some groups of hogs won’t like the flavour as well as they will straight corn, but normally we can blend up to 50-50 and don’t have any problems getting them to eat it,” he said.


In most years, wheat feeding is a short-term phenomenon that occurs in June, July and August, after the U.S. winter wheat harvest. But some U.S. chicken and hog producers are looking to extend their use of feed wheat throughout the year.


The implications run deep into the corn market, which has slumped 12 per cent since Sept. 1 on signs that “demand rationing” — essentially consumers being priced out of the market — is far more widespread than believed.


In April, wheat futures on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) dipped below corn for the first time in nearly 15 years. Since June, CBOT wheat has been trading at an average of 10 cents below corn, the longest such inversion since at least the early 1970s. Cash prices were at times even more favourable for wheat buyers.


Wheat prices have periodically rallied back above corn, including as recently as this week, but the change in feed habits should stick.


“We hear of wheat feeding being booked all the way through the spring in the southeast markets,” said Rich Feltes, vice president for research with R.J. O’Brien in Chicago.


Different mix


The changing feed mix follows a summer in which U.S. corn stocks threatened to shrink to near their tightest since the Second World War. Corn prices surged to a record above $8 a bushel, while swelling global wheat supplies depressed prices (all figures US$).


In the U.S., plentiful supplies of wheat — especially soft red winter wheat grown in the southern Midwest — provided a welcome alternative for livestock feeders in the southeast.


Nutritionally, wheat offers more protein than corn but less energy from fat, so most operations have to recalibrate rations to accommodate wheat as a substitute ingredient.


Wheat feeding has been less common this year in the big cattle feedlots of the southern U.S. Plains because a drought slashed production of the region’s hard red winter wheat crop.


Some cattle feeders were able to book a four-month supply of hard red winter wheat this past summer as local cash corn prices surged, but wheat has become less competitive since then, said Joe Christopher, a grain merchandiser with Crossroads Co-op in Sidney, Neb.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Wednesday lowered its estimate of the amount of U.S. wheat used for animal feed in the 2011-12 marketing year to 160 million bushels, or eight per cent of all wheat production — but still the highest share in three years.


Wheat has found favour among large-scale poultry producers. “We are steadily increasing its usage,” said Margaret McDonald, director of communications at Pilgrim’s Pride, the No. 2 chicken producer in the U.S. Tyson Foods, the biggest U.S. chicken company, has also been using some wheat in its feed rations.


With U.S. corn stocks expected to remain scarce through 2011-12, setting the stage for another year of high cash corn prices, price signals telling feeders to use wheat could strengthen.


“For the foreseeable future, we are going to have high-priced input costs, and grain is going to be expensive, and the industry is going to have to adjust, which I think it’s doing,” said Mike Cockrell, chief financial officer for Sanderson Farms, the No. 4 U.S. chicken producer.


Sanderson is not currently using wheat in its poultry rations but has not ruled out adding it in the future.


“There is no doubt that at least for the next crop year, we’ve got high-priced corn. Until these supplies rebuild and the balance sheets improve,” Cockrell said, “that’s just a fact of life.”



New AAFC funding announced for agricultural product innovation (AIP)

New AAFC funding announced for agricultural product innovation (AIP)



U of S led wheat DDGS guide supports opportunities for feed products

U of S led wheat DDGS guide suppport opportunities for feed products


Advancing a National Dialogue” Awards – Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute

The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) is pleased to announce the following Awards program:

“Advancing a National Dialogue” Awards – Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute

The Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute (CAPI) is an independent, non-partisan
policy forum that addresses mid to long-term policy issues of significance to the agri-food sector. CAPI has identified three major themes on which to focus its work: food and wellness, sustainability, and viability.

The Institute is focused on stimulating a national dialogue on agriculture and agri-food issues by addressing the policies that will enable Canada’s agri-food sector to thrive in the domestic and global agri-food marketplace. CAPI’s objective includes developing policy ideas that provide future options for the framework agreement developed by federal, provincial, and territorial governments, known as Growing Forward.

The Awards Program, “Advancing a National Dialogue,” seeks out fresh ideas from graduate students for policies or models that will enhance Canada’s competitiveness in the emerging agriculture and agri-food world. This initiative has been made possible through the support of Farm Credit Canada (FCC).

These awards are available to candidates who are studying at the graduate level.
Number of Awards: Three (3).

Value: One award of $10,000 CAD, non-renewable and two awards of $5,000 CAD.

Deadline Date: March 30, 2012.

Eligible institutions: Canadian educational institutions with provincial degree-granting powers, or their affiliates.
Interested candidates will find the information needed to apply online on the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada’s website:

Please post the general notice and forward this e-mail to those who might be interested in this awards program.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation and support in this matter.


Higher Education Scholarships


CFIA announces modernization of regulatory system

CFIA announces moderniation of regulatory system



Future of Feeds Forum

Welcome to the “Future of Feeds Forum”

This Forum will ask the question:

“What will be demanded of the Western Canadian animal feed sector to be prosperous and sustainable by 2030?”

Broad consultation will occur with multiple stakeholders to develop an industry solution.

1. Foresighting April 19-20, 2011

This two-day forum included representatives of the feed value chain from each of the four Western Canadian provinces.  A facilitated process called Strategic Scenario Creation was employed to explore the forces and factors that will impact the Western Canadian animal feed sector over the next two decades.

The “Future of Feeds Forum” will create a common understanding of the possibilities that exist within the feed industries.  Participants will be able to utilize this understanding and shared experience when making decisions related to strategic positioning over the long term.    

A report on the workshop was produced in the Summer 2011

Four scenarios were developed by the workshop participants. A background slide deck describes how the scenarios were developed and what the key themes are. The scenarios were developed to describe four different scenarios that might exist in the year 2030 given the unpredicatability of consumer demands and profitability.



These are the scenarios:

            Primed and Ready
            Smart Feed Savvy Consumer
            Moo Gone Download Complete
            Zero Risk is High Risk

We are unable to upload the scenarios with the audio. If you are interested in viewing them with the audio or have comments on the scenarios please email Colleen Christensen

2. Consulation Phase September 2011 – April 2012

The foresighting scenarios were played for over 250 people from 50+ organizations throughout Western Canada. Participants were asked to comment on the four future feeds scenarios as well as what they thought were top priorities for the feeds Industry in Western Canada.

A report on the Future of Feeds Forum Consultation Phase was produced in May 2012