Organic Resource Management Inc. (ORMI) is Canada’s largest national provider of vacuum truck services for the collection, processing and recycling of food-related organic residuals, serving more than 8,000 IC&I food industry customer locations across Canada. The company uses sophisticated and fully-integrated proprietary logistics and operational management systems, including map-based routing, GPS tracking and wireless handheld computing devices to optimize the centralized dispatch of ORMI’s team of trained technicians.
ORMI was recently acquired by the Walker Environmental Group (WEG) — a multi-service company based in southern Ontario. (See details in sidebar article on page 27.)
The organic residuals that ORMI collects are primarily generated from grease interceptors and other wastewater pre-treatment devices that capture and prevent fats, oils and grease (FOG) and other food particles, and prevent them from entering the sewer system (as required by sewer-use bylaws). These residuals are processed at the company’s transfer stations to produce a clean high-energy feedstock that’s then delivered to anaerobic digesters (AD). The ADs digest the feedstock to produce biogas, which is used to generate electricity sold into the grid.
ORMI has always sought environmental solutions to organic waste disposal. In the early years, the company used direct land application and composting as disposal solutions, but odour issues ultimately made these options challenging and undesirable.
More recently, ORMI recognized that anaerobically digesting food residuals was a sustainable recycling alternative; in 2007 the company began deliveries of organic feedstock to Fepro Farms, the first on-farm anaerobic digester in Ontario. Since that time, ORMI has developed a network of farm-based ADs and today delivers all of its feedstock to ADs.
The farm-based ADs convert ORMI’s organic feedstock, along with the farms’ manure, into biogas renewable energy and environmentally-friendly crop nutrients. Anaerobic digestion breaks down organic material to produce biogas — a combination of methane and carbon dioxide — that’s used to generate electricity and heat. ORMI’s AD network has two megawatts of generation capacity; enough to service 1,600 homes.
In 2010 ORMI launched Leftovers to Lights® (leftoverstolights.com) — an innovative branding program designed to assist in the promotion of customer commitment to socially-responsible waste recycling alternatives (by using organic residuals to generate green renewable energy).
With over 25 years of experience, ORMI has built a strong foundation in the commercial grease trap market. ORMI not only pumps out grease traps, it also repairs and replaces traps that are worn out. As municipalities increase the enforcement of sewer-use compliance to their bylaws and mandate minimum grease interceptor servicing levels, maintaining a documented service history will become critical for anyone who owns a grease trap. ORMI makes customer reports easily accessible to customers; beginning this spring, a picture of the empty pumped trap will be provided on the completed work order, date-stamped with GPS coordinates as proof the service was completed.
The company also has a patent-protected process for the on-site collection of organic waste called the Organic Resource Recovery System (ORRS). Produce and other food related wastes are ground into slurry by a mill and discharged into a holding tank where it’s stored until collected by one of ORMI’s vacuum trucks.
The services that ORMI provides form a critical component of current North American program initiatives for sewer infrastructure maintenance, wastewater treatment and long-term sustainable food waste diversion from landfill. (See accompanying sidebar on page 27.)
Paul van der Werf is President of 2cg Inc. in London, Ontario.
Contact Paul at email@example.com
Walker Grows Again
Despite a lagging Ontario economy and persistent uncertainty for many businesses, a company with roots in Niagara dating back to 1887 is tipping the scales toward growth.
Walker Industries Holdings Limited (WIHL), a privately-held company with over 400 employees, has added another business to its portfolio. On December 14, 2012, Walker Environmental Group (WEG), a division of WIHL, acquired Organic Resource Management Inc (ORMI), a publicly traded company listed on the TSX Venture Exchange with just over 100 employees. ORMI’s business is complementary to the organic collection and processing businesses in the WEG.
“The purchase of ORMI is part of Walker’s plan to expand into organic waste processing and create a national footprint,” says Mike Watt, Vice- President of WEG.
Businesses operated by Walk-er’s WEG division include two landfills, a waste transfer facility, a biosolids plant, a composting facility, landfill gas projects in Ontario and Manitoba, a carbon-neutral building service, an industrial/commercial construction operation, and a company that hauls IC&I waste. WEG is one of Ontario’s largest handlers of non-hazardous waste.
WIHL’s group of companies includes aggregates, construction, emulsions, environmental project management, waste management, renewable energy projects and green building. Its three main divisions are Walker Aggregates Inc., Norjohn Limited and Norjohn-ACI Inc., and Walker Environmental Group Inc.
WIHL’s acquisition of ORMI is the fourth in recent months. WIHL is working on expanding its operations from Southern Ontario to across Canada and into the US. In October 2011, the company purchased G. Priest Construction Limited, a sand and gravel pit with nine employees, trucks and related equipment. In May 2012, Walker’s formulated emulsions division, Norjohn Limited, purchased Associated Chemists Inc (ACI) in Portland Oregon. ACI manufactures custom emulsion formulations and has 17 employees. In October 2012, Walker purchased Amherst Quarries in Amherstburg. The company has 25 employees and serves aggregate customers in Southwestern Ontario.