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.