Chapter 4. Anaerobic digestion materials
Section 4.1. Generation of on-farm AD materials at livestock and non-livestock farms
There are different requirements for receiving on-farm materials at a non-livestock farm and at a livestock farm. At a non-livestock farm, on-farm AD materials may be received from other agricultural operations only if the total number of farm animals on all the farm units sending materials generate less than 2,000 nutrient units annually. This limit does not apply when the RMADF is located on a farm unit on which a livestock operation is carried out.
(see s. 98.8 (1) 1., 2., O. Reg. 267/03).
Whether or not livestock operations are carried out on the farm unit on which the RMADF is located, the on-farm AD materials that are treated in the RMADF must be organic materials generated through:
- Growing, producing or raising farm animals
- Producing agricultural crops, including greenhouse crops, maple syrup, mushrooms, nursery stock, tobacco, trees and turf grass
- Producing eggs, cream or milk; or
- Processing products produced primarily from the farmer’s agricultural operation.
(see 98.8 (1) 3., and 98.8 (2), O. Reg. 267/03).
Section 4.2. Schedules of off-farm AD materials
The Schedules establish categories of off-farm AD materials that may or may not be treated in an RMADF. They are set out in the Off-Farm Anaerobic Digestion Materials Protocol.
Off-farm AD materials that may be received at the farm for treatment in the RMADF include:
- Schedule 1 materials, which are feedstocks that can be treated in an RMADF without additional heat treatment
- Schedule 2A materials, which require additional heat treatment and are subject to additional requirements
- Schedule 2B materials, which require additional heat treatment and are subject to additional requirements. Schedule 2B includes only certain source separated organics.
These further requirements for off-farm AD material treatment are outlined in Chapter 6 of this document.
Schedule 3 materials are prohibited materials that are not allowed to be received for treatment in an RMADF.
(see s. 98.4 (1) 2., O. Reg. 267/03, and Off-farm Anaerobic Digestion Materials Protocol).
If materials from different Schedules are mixed, the resulting materials will be considered to be materials of the Schedule with the highest number (e.g., Schedule 3 is higher than Schedule 1, so a mixture of Schedule 3 and Schedule 1 materials would be considered Schedule 3). O. Reg. 267/03 clarifies that Schedule 2B is considered to be higher than 2A, and Schedule 2A is higher than Schedule 1. Also note that any reference in O. Reg. 267/03 generically to Schedule 2 applies to both Schedule 2A and Schedule 2B.
(see s. 98.1, O. Reg. 267/03).
Section 4.3. On-farm and off-farm AD material ratios
There are limits on the ratios of on-farm and off-farm AD materials that can be treated in an RMADF. At all times at least 50 per cent, by volume, of the total amount of AD materials that are being treated in anaerobic digestion vessels in the RMADF must be on-farm AD materials.
In addition, the total amount of manure being treated in the AD vessels in the RMADF must be at least 50 per cent by volume of the total amount of off-farm AD materials being treated. For example, at a facility that treats 50 per cent off-farm AD material, at least 25 per cent of the AD materials must be manure. Or if the facility treats 10 per cent off-farm AD materials, at least 5 per cent of the AD materials must be manure.
There is also a minimum manure requirement that at least 5 per cent by volume of the total amount of on-farm and off-farm AD materials being treated must be manure.
The mixing requirements of the total amount of manure and other on-farm and off-farm AD materials at any time must be achieved in a single AD vessel prior to discharging the digestate out of the AD vessels and into a long-term storage, solid liquid separation system or other end point. Individual AD vessels may have differing ratios of AD materials, so long as this mixing requirement is always met prior to discharge.
(see s. 98.9 (1) 3., 4., and 4.1, O. Reg. 267/03).
Section 4.4. Need for analysis of regulated metals in off-farm AD material
Off-farm AD materials must be analyzed for regulated metals prior to being received at an RMADF. The person receiving off-farm AD materials at the farm for treatment in the RMADF must have results of an analysis of the off-farm AD materials in the following circumstances:
- It is the first time that they receive materials from that particular supplier
- They have received 1,000 cubic metres of materials (including the materials about to be received) since the last time they received an analysis from that supplier (less any material diverted on a one-time basis); or,
- It has been more than 12 months since they last obtained an analysis from that supplier for that particular material.
The results of an analysis of the materials must be from a sample that has been collected within 14 days before the materials are to be received at the RMADF.
Each sample of material must be analyzed for regulated metals in accordance with the methods specified in the Sampling and Analysis Protocol.
The analysis must include the name and address of the supplier of the material, along with the analysis results.
(see s. 98.5 (1), (2), (3), s. 98.13 (1) 2. i., O. Reg. 267/03).
If the analysis for the material determines the concentration of any regulated metal exceeds a metal content limit set out in the Table 1, no person can receive the material at the farm.
Table 1. Maximum metal concentration in materials.
|Regulated metal||Maximum metal concentration in materials (milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) of total solids dry weight)|
O. Reg. 267/03 allows for the receipt of higher copper and zinc values (400 mg/kg and 700 mg/kg of total solids, dry weight respectively), but only if the facility also tests the contents of the digester and finds that the digester metal concentrations are lower than the metal concentrations in the table above.
(see s. 98.5 (4), (5), O. Reg. 267/03).
Section 4.5 Requirements for the source of Schedule 2B material
There are requirements for the source of Schedule 2B materials. The only Schedule 2B material currently listed is source separated organics from municipal programs that do not permit used diapers, sanitary products and incontinence products. "Source separated organics" means organic waste that has been separated from other waste under a program operated by or for a municipality.
(see s. 1. (1) "source separated organics", O. Reg. 267/03, and Schedule 2B Off-Farm Anaerobic Digestion Materials, Further Limited, Off-Farm Anaerobic Digestion Materials Protocol).
Section 4.6. Schedule 2B materials from a pre-processing facility
Schedule 2B material must be debagged and screened at an approved facility prior to arriving at the RMADF. Specifically, Schedule 2B material must come from a facility with an ECA or REA that was issued or amended on or after July 1, 2021. The facility’s approval must permit that facility to generate off-farm AD materials for an RMADF. The approval also must require that:
- All bags and packaging be removed from the Schedule 2B materials
- Systems, facilities and equipment at the facility be designed and operated to minimize the production of plastics with lengths of less than 5 millimetres
- The plastics in the materials do not exceed 0.5 per cent of the material, calculated on a dry weight basis; and,
- The materials do not contain particles of any material that will not pass through a screen whose largest opening has an area of 2.5 square centimetres.
(see s. 98.4 (1) 1.6, O. Reg. 267/03).
Schedule 2B materials must also be received at the RMADF in a form that can flow through a hose.
(see s. 98.4 (1) 1.4, O. Reg. 267/03).
Section 4.7. Statement from the municipality for Schedule 2B materials
Prior to receiving Schedule 2B material for the first time, the RMADF operator must ensure receipt of a written statement prepared by the municipality where the source separated organics were collected showing the following:
- The source separated organics are listed in Schedule 2B, meaning source separated organics from municipal programs that do not permit used diapers, sanitary products and incontinence products; and
- A list of materials that are not accepted in the source separated organics stream of the municipal collection system.
A municipality that has provided the statement listed above must notify the RMADF operator of any planned changes to the materials accepted in the source separated organics stream of the municipal collection system.
(see s. 98.4.1, O. Reg. 267/03, and Off-Farm Anaerobic Digestion Materials Protocol).
Section 4.8. Sampling and analysis requirements for Schedule 2B materials prior to receipt at the RMADF
In order to reduce potential for contamination, there are limits on particle size and plastic in Schedule 2B material. Before receiving Schedule 2B materials, the person who receives the materials at the farm must obtain the results of an analysis that demonstrates compliance with the following:
- The materials must not contain particles of any material that will not pass through a screen whose largest opening has an area of 2.5 square centimetres (equivalent to a 16 mm sieve); and,
- The materials must not have a content of plastic that exceeds 0.5 per cent of the material, calculated on a dry weight basis.
The operator of the pre-processing facility approved to generate Schedule 2B material is responsible to ensure that when the materials are supplied to the farm, the person who receives the material also receives the analysis of the material.
(see s. 98.4 (1) 1.1, 1.3, 98.5.1 (1), O. Reg. 267/03).
Section 4.9. Limit for plastics in all off-farm AD materials
More broadly, in order to reduce potential for plastic contamination, there is also a limit on plastic content for all off-farm AD materials. No person can receive off-farm AD materials listed in Schedule 1, 2A or 2B in which the content of plastic exceeds 0.5 per cent of the material, calculated on a dry weight basis.
(see s. 98.4 (1) 1.3, O. Reg. 267/03).
Section 4.10. Receiving off-farm AD material that is farm feed
Farm feed has a specific definition in O. Reg. 267/03. It includes certain off-farm AD materials listed in Schedule 1. These materials are organic matter from food processing at fruit, vegetable, cereal and grain processing facilities, as well as from breweries, distilleries and wineries. It also includes organic waste matter derived from the drying or cleaning of field or nut crops.
A description of the requirements for receipt and storage of farm feed AD materials are found throughout this document.
(see s. 1. (1) "farm feed", O. Reg. 267/03, Schedule 1 - Off-Farm Anaerobic Digestion Materials, Off-Farm Anaerobic Digestion Materials Protocol).
Section 4.11. Transportation and receipt of off-farm AD materials
Two options exist for the form in which Schedule 1 and 2A off-farm AD materials can be received. They can be received in bulk or they can be received in packaging or storage containers. However, the packaging or storage materials must not remain at the operation after the materials have been delivered.
(see s. 98.4 (1) 6., O. Reg. 267/03).
Trucks for hauling off-farm AD material to the RMADF are exempt from the requirement to have an approval under Part V of the EPA. This exemption is applicable only if the carrier has in their possession while transporting the materials a document from the owner or operator of the RMADF that indicates the facility agrees to accept the materials.
(see s. 8. (3.1), (3.2), Reg. 347).
Additionally, off-farm AD materials cannot be received at the operation before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m. No off-farm AD materials can be brought to the facility until an RMADF is constructed and ready to operate.
(see s. 98.4 (1) 2.1, 98.3 (2), O. Reg. 267/03).
Section 4.12. Diverting a single load of off-Farm AD materials to another RMADF
When the RMADF operator currently has an analysis for off-farm AD materials and could have accepted the materials but is unable to for a reason unrelated to the analysis (e.g., a breakdown in the feedstock tank pump), a single truckload of the materials may be received by another farm unit on which an agricultural operation is carried out for treatment in an RMADF. The receiving RMADF must receive a copy of the analysis before receiving the materials.
(see s. 98.5 (7), O. Reg. 267/03).