Waste Management Services

Subscription with Gaiaca’s waste collection service or waste management services will ensure that your cannabis by-product is compliantly managed. 55-gallon polyethylene drums are placed in a secure location within your facility, separate from traditional waste bins. Full drums are removed on a weekly basis, with fresh, empty ones left in their place. All waste removed from your site will be thoroughly documented via waste manifest, requiring signatures from both facility management and Gaiaca transport technicians. Waste is tracked and traced from the point of generation to its final resting place, with the chain of custody issued to you as proof of disposal.

Non-hazardous and hazardous cannabis wastes include, but are not limited to, raw plant, trim, leaf, stem, soil/grow medium, extraction/distillation byproduct (oils, waxes, winterization), spent solvents/reagents, edible byproduct, contaminated material (failed lab testing), and expired goods, displays, etc.

Waste stream identification and profiling are conducted via visual inspection, sampling, and reporting. Waste stream samples can be transported to a local, qualified, third-party laboratory for quick analysis. In most cases, samples can be analyzed on a 24- to 48-hour turn-around time. Waste Characterization is the first step in developing a meaningful Waste Management Program.

If an operator has chosen to self-render their cannabis waste onsite, Gaiaca can provide third-party verification and documentation that the cannabis waste has been properly rendered unusable and unrecognizable per State regulation. Gaiaca can sign off on self-rendered loads of cannabis waste, ultimately taking the liability off of the client.

Full drums of cannabis by-product are collected from our client’s facility and properly manifested for transport. Drums are identified and weighed initially upon pickup, and again upon receipt to ensure that no tampering occurred during waste transport and handling. Waste manifests are signed a total of three times, once by the generator, a second time by the Gaiaca transport tech, and lastly by the Gaiaca intake tech.

Non-Hazardous cannabis waste is transported directly to Gaiaca’s facility for processing, while Hazardous cannabis waste is taken to an appropriate Hazardous Material Intake Facility for disposal.

Off-site waste processing: Non-Hazardous cannabis by-product is processed at Gaiaca’s facility using a proprietary pre-composting procedure. Gaiaca sustainably sources natural, nutrient-rich, non-cannabis material, to conduct the rendering process. The cannabis byproduct is physically altered and thoroughly blended with the other non-cannabis material to make it unusable and unrecognizable into cannabis waste. Once the rendering process is complete, the material is then transported to our partner recycling facility where it is composted. The final, composted material can now be reused as soil, amendment, landscaping, erosion control, or donated for research purposes.

Gaiaca will complete a waste manifest upon collection of waste as part of the State’s track and trace requirement. Gaiaca’s waste manifest will track the waste from its cradle (operator facility), through the rendering process (Gaiaca’s facility), to its final grave (licensed compost/landfill facility). Gaiaca will provide the operator with a copy of the manifest as a receipt of waste disposal and confirmation waste has been properly disposed of.

Gaiaca personnel are well-experienced in providing waste management planning and support. Upon membership subscription and/or specialty consultation, our clients receive waste management program development and documentation. Gaiaca creates site-specific waste management plans and issues Gaiaca Certificates of Waste Compliance to participating operators. These documents can be provided to local and/or State authorities, demonstrating cannabis waste compliance.

If an operator has chosen to self-render their cannabis waste onsite, Gaiaca can provide third-party verification and documentation that the cannabis by-product has been properly rendered unusable and unrecognizable into cannabis waste per State regulation. Gaiaca can sign off on self-rendered loads of cannabis waste, ultimately taking the liability off of our client.

Hazardous cannabis waste is categorized separately from non-hazardous cannabis waste, and furthermore, is treated differently than traditional hazardous waste in that it contains cannabis and its chemical constituents; a Schedule 1 Federally Controlled Substance (FCS). Gaiaca is not only an EPA-registered hazardous waste transporter and State-licensed type-11 cannabis distributor, but is also equipped with years of experience in hazardous material management and consulting. We can assist all types of cannabis operators with necessary duties such as hazardous waste management program development, generator identification and registration, waste profiling, and disposal. Gaiaca will ensure that all hazardous cannabis waste is properly handled, stored, transported, documented, and disposed of with respect to the Federal, State, and local government. To learn more about hazardous cannabis waste, check out this blog post.

Environmental Consulting & Industrial Hygiene

Gaiaca personnel are well-experienced in providing environmental and industrial hygiene consulting. General Gaiaca consulting services can include facility inspections for waste identification/characterization, hazard analysis, emissions, water source/discharge, quality control, etc. Samples are submitted to a qualified, third-party laboratory for analysis, and results reported back to the client. Ultimately, we help to maintain compliance with local and/or State regulation regarding your facility, waste, water quality, soil quality, potential emissions, recycling, and quality control.

Soil Testing: Trained Gaiaca technicians can conduct a facility inspection and consult on specific soil and/or other grow medium utilized. Inspections include documentation of particular amendments, fertilizers, or supplements used, as well as collecting soil samples for testing. Analysis may include residual pesticide/fertilizer, heavy metal, microbial, nutrient levels, pH, etc.

Hazard Analysis: Trained Gaiaca technicians can conduct a facility inspection to identify potential hazards including, but not limited to, biological, chemical, and physical. Hazards are evaluated and reported to the client, with recommendations for remediation and preventative control.

Trained Gaiaca technicians can conduct a facility inspection and consult on water usage. Inspections include identification of water source, diversion, and discharge points, documentation of physical conditions present, as well as collecting water samples for testing. Analysis may include residual chlorine, perchlorate, heavy metals, Coliforms, pH, conductivity, biological oxygen demand (BOD), etc.

Trained Gaiaca technicians can conduct routine quality control sampling and reporting of cannabis product to meet local and/or State regulatory compliance. Laboratory analysis may include potency (cannabinoid concentration), residual pesticide/fungicide panel, microbial, residual solvent panel, terpenes, etc. Gaiaca can provide visual inspection and documentation of product batch selection.

Waste Characterization: Trained Gaiaca technicians can conduct a facility inspection to identify and profile streams of waste generated at a facility. Waste streams are segregated into hazardous and non-hazardous categories. If applicable, Gaiaca can assist with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) registration, which may be a requirement for any facility generating specific quantities of hazardous waste.

non-hazardous cannabis waste
waste management plans

Waste Management Plans

Gaiaca can provide written, site-specific waste management plans¬†to assist applicants seeking a cannabis license. Waste management plans can be included in the application for local and/or State approval. The waste management plan is specifically tailored to a client’s facility, including specific streams of waste generated, satellite accumulation sites, main waste storage areas, emergency spill plans, waste handling techniques, waste collection frequency, facility personnel designated to sign off on waste, registration and training requirements, etc.