Skip to main content
Ryerson Urban Water

The Phosphorus Recovery and Reuse Workshop was held at Ryerson University, Toronto on June 19th, 2014. The Workshop brought together nearly 150 participants from Ontario, other regions of Canada, the U.S. and Europe. Additional persons attended by Webex. The Workshop was organized by Ryerson University in cooperation with the Consul General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Ontario, and with assistance from Environment Canada and the Canadian Water Network.

As explained in the workshop report, the natural phosphorus cycle has been disrupted due to once-through practices that transfer large quantities of phosphorus from mined sources to land and water environments. The transfer occurs during food production, primarily on agricultural lands, as well as food consumption. Opportunities are ripe for innovative technologies and approaches to recover and reuse phosphorus from agricultural and urban sources. With high quality rock phosphorus quantities declining globally, and growing environmental degradation from poorly managed phosphorus releases, many technologies and approaches are being developed and implemented in Canada and elsewhere.

The issues and opportunities pertaining to full lifecycle management of phosphorus were detailed by Workshop speakers in their presentations and Workshop attendees during breakout discussions. Speakers and participants identified a number of success stories for P-recycling and discussed drivers, opportunities, barriers and partnerships for sustainable phosphorus management in Canada and North America.



June 19th, 2014

Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario

Sears Atrium, Engineering Building 3rd floor,

Ryerson University, 245 Church St, Toronto, ON M5B 2K3

8:30 – 9:00

Welcome, setting the stage

Dr. Imogen Coe, Dean, Faculty of Science, Ryerson University; Mr. Anne van Leeuwen, Consul General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; Mr. Jim Richardson, Director, Environmental Management Branch, OMAF and MRA; Mr. Tom Kaszas, Director, Innovations Branch, Ontario Ministry of the Environment; Ellen Schwartzel, Deputy Commissioner, Environmental Commissioner’s Office; David Szeptycki, Regional Municipality of York

9:00 – 10:15


The Canadian P recovery and reuse opportunity

Dr. Don Mavinic, University of British Columbia


Phosphorus in the Netherlands, initiatives to arrive at more sustainability   

Dr. Bert Smit, Senior Researcher Wageningen University & Research Centre, Plant Research International, involved in founding the Nutrient Platform in the Netherlands


Food security and P management

Dr. Tom Bruulsema, International Plant Nutrition Institute


European Union perspective 

Dr. Willem Schipper, Global Phosphorus Forum

10:15 – 10:35

Bio Break

10:35 – 12:00

Panel One: Phosphorus Resources in Action – the Municipality to Farm Story - Opportunities, Considerations, Gaps

➢    Michael Payne, Black Lake Environmental, biosolids as a resource in Ontario

➢    Mike Kopansky, Miller Compost Ontario, working with municipalities for innovative economic and environmental phosphorus management solutions

➢    Christine Brown, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food and Ministry of Rural Affairs – creating value from urban and rural Phosphorus resources for farming

➢    Carrie Vollmer-Sanders, Western Lake Erie Basin Project Director, The Nature Conservancy, engaging landowners in the phosphorus cycle to improve soil, productivity and protect the environment

12:00 – 1:00


1:00 – 2:30

Panel Two: Solutions through Technology and Research

Ahren Britton, Chief Technology Officer, Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies

Dr. Victor Lo, Professor, University of British Columbia, dairy manure options

Dr. Brad Bass, Environment Canada, Grey Water Green Walls

Dr. John van Pol, Incas, Monitoring phosphorus - An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure


Innovation through Technology and Research in the Netherlands

Leon Korving, Wetsus Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Water Technology (NL), technology in action for European phosphorus recovery and reuse

2:30 – 2:50

Bio Break

2:50 – 4:05

Panel Three: Creating a Made-in-Canada Solution with Help from Around the World

Commentator Don Mavinic, Moderator: Arno Rosemarin

Dr. Chris Thornton, Acting Secretariat, European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform

David Vaccari, North American Phosphorus Partnership, USA initiatives

4:05 – 4:30

Wrap Up and Call to Action

4:30 – 6:00


Hosted by the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Everyone Welcome!

Presentations should be reproduced in their entirety (not taken out of context) and credit given to the author



Thank you to our sponsors