Ostara saves our soil and streams while bringing high quality fertilizer to market

Vancouver-based Ostara Nutrient Recoveries Technologies Inc. has found a solution to not one but two global environmental problems: too much raw sewage and too little commercial fertilizer.

Originally developed at the University of British Columbia, Ostara’s technology removes environmentally-harmful nutrients such as phosphorus, nitrogen and ammonia found in sewage sludge – ordinarily destined for landfills – and turns them into a fertilizer branded as Crystal Green.

It is not unusual for municipalities to be spending tens of thousands of dollars per month to properly dispose of this sludge – where Ostara has the technology to turn it into a revenue stream.

Saskatoon is the latest city to announce the construction of a new nutrient-recovery facility that uses Ostara’s technology.

The facility will be the first Canadian site to feature Ostara’s newly-designed Pearl 2000 process, which has the capacity to produce 730 metric tonnes of fertilizer every year.

Founded in 2005, Ostara has three commercial nutrient recovery facilities – in Oregon, Virginia and Pennsylvania.

These extractable elements that remain in wastewater systems are not only costly to dispose of, but combine to form struvite, which can build up in pipes as concrete-like scales, leading to damage and additional maintenance costs for facility operators.

Using Ostara’s technology, facility operators can collect the struvite and convert it into fertilizer – creating a new revenue stream in the process.

Ostara’s technology also addresses the fact that the world’s traditional resources of phosphorus – an essential ingredient in fertilizer – are becoming become depleted.

Although when dealing with municipalities the sales cycle can be quite long – Ostara has many new projects in the pipeline and are looking forward to rapid growth in 2012.

The company received a major endorsement when environmental activist and lawyer Robert Kennedy Jr. joined its board. Kennedy is a partner in U.S.-based VantagePoint Venture Partners, which is among Ostara’s major investors.

Ostara was recently named to the Ready to Rocket Cleantech 2012 list – showcasing the companies that are best positioned to capitalize on the 2012 technology sector trends.

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Elena Verlee is founder of Cross Border Communications, a technology PR agency based in Vancouver and Silicon Valley working with a range of clients from high-growth startups to billion dollar companies. A passionate publicist with two decades of brand building experience, Elena also blogs at PR in Your Pajamas, an award-winning site that helps entrepreneurs and smaller businesses who can’t afford a publicist to get heard, get known and get talked about so they can change the world. Elena’s blog is named by PRWeb as one of “25 Essential PR Blogs You Should Be Reading” and syndicated by the Visa Business Network to over 100,000 members. Elena has also been named twice in a Forbes list as one of “20 Women for Entrepreneurs to Follow on Twitter.”

Jackie Peterson is a scientist turned business communicator. She is Director of Client Services at Cross Border Communications and helps clients translate highly technical ideas into easily understandable media-worthy stories. Jackie has an unparalleled network of media contacts and is passionate about attracting investor interest to deserving but neglected companies. Jackie started her career with Pengrowth Energy Trust’s PR team then moved on to Business Development in their M&A division during which time the Trust completed over $2 billion in acquisitions, doubling their market cap. Having lived in Montreal, Calgary and Victoria, Jackie now calls Vancouver home.

The authors will be writing about a variety of client and non-client companies in this column. In this particular instance, Strutta is a client of Cross Border Communications.