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[GreenYes] Re: Biosolids

Hi Kendall,

Insufficient testing frequency and compehensiveness have made me a bit skeptical of data regarding the cleanliness of biosolids in the past.

Do you have any sense of how adequately NYC tests theirs?


Doug Koplow
Earth Track, Inc.
2067 Massachusetts Avenue - 4th Floor
Cambridge, MA 02140
Tel: 617/661-4700
Fax: 617/354-0463

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>>> "Kendall Christiansen" <kendall@no.address> 08/23/06 08:30AM >>>
With respect to recent posts regarding biosolids, a collection of
observations, and some info:

1. good regular source of info about biosolids industry,
practices, training, regulation, etc. is
<> , the site of the National Biosolids Partnership
- supported by EPA, with perhaps a hundred or more municipal wastewater
agencies (and states) as active weekly e-newsletter useful way
to keep pace.

2. in NYC, since ocean dumping of sewage sludge ceased in
1992, biosolids has become quiet success story, to wit:

a. 100% beneficial reuse

b. 70% meets Class A standards; 30% Class B

c. Over 50% converted locally into fertilizer pellets for marketing for
agricultural purposes, including orange groves in FL

d. Modest amount used locally for roadsides, ballfields, etc.

e. Annual cost decreased from over $100M initially to a stable
mid-$50M, with an array of long-term contracts that diversify processing and

f. An industry expert once told me anecdotally that 'NYC has the
cleanest biosolids', perhaps due to effective pre-treatment programs, and
decline in local industry

3. NJ's recently adopted Solid Waste Management Plan projects
@ 70% beneficial reuse statewide of its biosolids; plan also calls for
improved local coordination between local wastewater and solid waste
management agencies (i.e., states differ in whether biosolids must be
included in SWMPs, as is the case in NYC)

4. Several municipalities market biosolids at retail, most
notably Tacoma (TaGro) and Milwaukee (Milorganite)

5. Landfilling of biosolids is most likely to still occur
where landfill space/access is cheapest option

6. Beyond methane collection/reuse at wastewater treatment
facilities, increasing attention being paid to opportunities for energy
production from biosolids, including production of alternative liquid fuels

Per #3, would be interested in learning whether any local wastewater
agencies partner with their solid waste counterparts and allow direct input
of source-separated organics into biosolids processing operations (i.e.,
skipping the wastewater treatment front-end), in order to consolidate
composting operations, improve organic content of biosolids, etc. Have
heard anecdotally that SF may do some of that, as a supplement to shipping
source-separated organics to distant composting facility.

Notwithstanding the above, biosolids obviously is not without its
controversies, like nearly every other aspect of solid waste

Hope the above is helpful to those interested.

Kendall Christiansen

Gaia Strategies

151 Maple Street

Brooklyn, NY 11225

o: 718.941.9535; cell: 917.359.0725

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