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Upcycling Nova Scotia’s Organics Waste to Animal Food

Most of Nova Scotia’s organics waste is processed into compost that is used for landscaping and gardening. But what if we looked at ways to increase the value of the end product? That is the question Oberland Agriscience is looking to answer through a Divert NS Value-Added Manufacturing funding project.

Oberland is using a novel stabilization process to upcycle organic waste into a nutritious insect feed, which in turn is used to rear black soldier fly larvae on an industrial scale. The larvae are a nutrient-rich, high quality protein ingredient that can be used in aquaculture, agriculture and pet foods. 

With a global protein shortage looming, many markets are actively seeking protein alternatives, namely, the pet food industry, the aquaculture feed industry and the agriculture feed industry. As protein scarcity continues and human usage monopolizes meat and fish-based protein, these global market segments will be left with fewer options to source high-quality protein. 

Divert NS has approved Oberland for a $75,000 repayable and conditionally forgivable loan to acquire industrial scale equipment for organic waste handling and processing, and insect rearing. Over the five-year project, Oberland expects to divert approximately 1,600 tonnes of organics from landfill, with the potential to develop a market with greater diversion in the future. 

On April 12, 2018, Divert NS and the Value-Added Manufacturing review committee toured Oberland’s facility in Halifax, where they upcycle organic waste to protein products. See the Divert NS Facebook page for photos of the tour.

Tour participants were from Divert NS, the funding review committee, and Oberland:

  • Jeff MacCallum CEO, Divert NS
  • Marcus Goodick, Divert NS Board Member and EnviroCulture Consulting
  • Laurel Schut, Divert NS Board Member and Found Forgotten Food
  • Tom Taggart, Divert NS Board Member and Colchester Solid Waste
  • Kevin Buchan, Review Committee member and St. Mary’s University
  • Bob Kenney, Review Committee member and Nova Scotia Environment
  • Greg Wanger, CEO, Oberland Agriscience
  • Barbara Campbell, VP of Commercialization, Oberland Agriscience
  • Andrew Hunter, Rearing Technician, Oberland Agriscience
  • Nicholas Doane, Process Technician, Oberland Agriscience

Divert NS’ Value-Added Manufacturing program provides financial assistance to Nova Scotia-based businesses for projects to develop new products, technologies or markets for waste resources.

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