Please describe the problem your solution is addressing.
Green Slime. We all know what it is. This is a global ecological problem. But did you ever wonder where it comes from? Green slime is a result of agricultural runoff. Nutrients get washed into our water. And this causes algae to bloom. As the winner of the Malta 2015 Climate KIK Business Idea contest we have started an innovative service for water recycling and sustainability communications. We are particularly focused on agricultural wastewater as there is an enormous need to address this.
How does your solution work, and what is the long-term vision for global impact?
The idea is to use natural elements to treat agricultural wastewater – And recover the nutrients in it. We have a design to take existing established technology and re-purpose it.
We deliver a compact tailor made microbial wastewater unit for 50% of the savings for the first three years of operation and we remove the sludge. We vermicompost the residual material to recover the nutrients. You get the water to use for irrigation and washing and don’t have to worry about disposal or runoff. The unit has low energy requirements and running costs.
Our long term vision: For every three units we install at full fee we give one unit to a deserving community.
This creates the opportunity for licensing the service and creating entrepreneurial activity while addressing the groundwater and seepage issue pervading agricultural regions. The global impact will be addressing the exponential rise in waste from increased farming yields. Current disposal methods are not keeping pace with the associated increases in livestock.
In what way is the solution unique from other approaches that exist in this space? What is the new perspective or methodology?
Throughout history the planet has been able to clean itself up and recycle on it’s own. We leverage the wily capability of natural systems to restore balance. The technology has been used in municipal waste and is superior to current disposal methods. Re-purposing for agriculture and industrial wastewater has not had a large market penetration because of the methods of marketing. We are not merely selling the units but providing an end to end solution and service.
Our process disrupts the current practice of hauling and dumping animal waste in small farms and recovers the nutrients ending point source nitrate pollution.
How far has your team progressed in the development of this solution? How do you measure your progress and methodological rigor?
We have two tanks cooking biology for introduction into a full sized deployment.
We are currently raising funds to build our demonstration unit. This is the result of 4 years of research into the matter. Both from a business perspective and a scientific plan. Our progress will be measured by the number of free units we install and of course the measurable reduction in agricultural runoff and material appearance in public waterways.
What resources are most needed for the solution to scale and have considerable impact? Please include your short-term, medium-term and long-term needs.
Our short term goal is to install the units in Malta and establish the system here through grant subsidies. While the Maltese market cannot sustain the business profitably it’s a great place to base operations and logistics. Malta is fabulous to visit and in the center of the Mediterranean a perfect spot to ship from.
Our medium term goals are to establish several centers of operation in high animal agriculture areas with the farm size and government ordinance to support installs at a profit. These areas of interest are New Zealand, Canada, Australia, The United States and continental Europe. We are currently exploring Portugal and the Netherlands for initial deployment outside of Malta.
Our long term goals are to establish independent licenses throughout the world and generate a sizable investment to repurchase these licenses – thereby creating a global brand in the sector. Additionally we plan to make free installs in deserving communities where it might not be profitable to operate – but the wastewater recovery method is still needed.