A Canadian company has taken the lead to reduce waste and has developed a system for the equestrian industry to reuse stable wood shavings.
HiPoint Agro Bedding Corp, based in Guelph, Ontario, estimates that every month, more than three million tons of used bedding is created in North America.
The HiPoint process removes horse manure from the shavings for composting, then separates, cleans and dries the waste shavings, before they are pasteurized, and then re-packaged for sale back to the same equine facilities. No chemicals are used in the separation and drying process. The recycled shavings are finished with a proprietary essential oil infusion, to be healthier for the horse than the original shavings.
The manure from the process is turned into aerobic organic compost.
HiPoint says the process is the first of its kind, and is fully automated, with little to no emissions.
Currently, disposal and purchase of new bedding material is the industry standard. Used bedding manure is either buried, compacted, composted, incinerated, or spread on the land. Some of these disposal methods have caught the eye of environmental agencies because of nutrient leaching and phosphorus overloading into soil and water.
HiPoint CEO Tim Cross said that several reports showed the nutrient value of wood shavings in horse manure is depleting soil nutrition – not adding to it.
The lignin in wood does not breakdown quickly, creating a low-grade compost material, allowing for leaching and off-gassing of the manure when left to decompose. Disposal at one of the current legal sites has found that the wood shavings have not composted down in a timely manner, and has not been as successful as hoped.
Cross said bedding and bedding disposal across North America was a $4.5 billion plus annual industry.
HiPoint is working with stakeholders in several locations in the US and internationally, to bring custom solutions. The company is working with Horizon 800 to build a facility on 32 acres, located between Belle Glade and Wellington, Florida. Wellington hosts some 12,000 horses during the height of the season, and the annual manure output of the area’s horses is estimated at 100,000 tons.