"Feed the Soil" International Compost Awareness Week May 5 - 11 2013 (Compost Council of Canada)
New Waste Water Treatment Plant regulations put huge financial costs on smaller municipalities. (The Chronicle Herald)
Nutrient Management Corner: The Magic Bean by Lise LeBlanc P.Ag
Banff and Canmore Councils meet and talk about N-Viro (Banff Crag and Canyon)
Banff: Turning Sewage into Money (Global TV Calgary)
Banff: Turning Trash in to Trasure (CBC Calgary)
Biosolids Being Used as Fertilizer Around the World
Applying Bioassays to Biosolids
N-Viro Systems Canada LP Attends Globe 2012, Vancouver, BC
The Impact of Land Application of Biosolids (Treated Municipal Sewage Sludge) On Dairy Milk Quality (English and French version available)
N-Viro Systems Canada Press Release October 12, 2011 (Announcement of Strategic Aliance with King Coal Furnace Company and Uzelac Industries Inc.)
Dr. Sally Brown Interview - Rethinking Biosolids Use and Dispelling the Fears of Using Them
GARDENER KILLED BY FUNGUS IN HIS COMPOST
GOOD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT, BUT NOT FOR YOU
This article discusses new findings from Germany that indicate moulds in decaying organic waste can cause skin problems and breathing difficulties.
FERTILIZER, MANURE OR BIOSOLIDS
Information related to the benefits and risks of fertilizers and soil amendments is presented in the article below. Lynn Moss, a biosolids subject matter expert with Camp, Dresser and McKee Inc. (CDM), provides insight into how biosolids compare with commercial mineral fertilizers in terms of agronomic value and safety. The article indicates that "for biosolids, it appears that the risks associated with their use are no greater than - and, in many cases, may in fact be less than - risks associated with manure use,..."
The Facts about Biosolids
The documents below outline the facts behind biosolids processing and N-Viro Soil Amendment distribution and utilization in the Province of Nova Scotia:
Fight Over Biosolids is About to Get Messy...
Follow the link below to an article that explains why N-Viro Systems Canada LP president Rob Sampson believes land application of biosolids-dervied, N-Viro Soil Amendment is a safe practice:
Actress, Restaurateur Oppose Environmental Science
Follow the link below to a posting by Peter Donham which critiques the campaign against "...the productive recycling of composted human waste as a worthy alternative to dumping it, semi-treated, in the ocean."
Biosolids Expert Panel Report
Click on the link below to view a study prepared by a panel of experts on the impact the land application of biosolids has on human health and the environment. This file is approximately 10 MB in size.
"Beneficial Use of Biosolids - Closing the Wastewater Loop"
Click on the link below to view an article published in the fall edition of "Naturally Green," a publication by Halifax Regional Municipality.
Click on the first link below to view an open letter that was sent in 2009 to The Honoourable Darrell Dexter, Premier of Nova Scotia, by Mr. Fred Blois. This letter was originally posted on the Environmental Network website. The link that follows the first is a response prepared by N-Viro Systems Canada LP to the letter prepared by Mr. Blois.
www.n-viro.ca/bank/pageimages/Open Letter on Biosolids to Premier Dexter.pdf
Whistler Village is turning mountains of garbage, and rivers of, well, let's just say gold and bronze, into black gold at its spanking new, if rather malodorous, multi-million-dollar composting facility.
The 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and Whistler have been selling themselves as the greenest Games ever. The municipality of Whistler, along with nearby Pemberton and Squamish, are doing their part.
While the trash volume at the village transfer station hasn't yet reached Olympian proportions, Whistler's municipal operations manager Ron Sander says the sewage system was near 95-per-cent capacity on the Games' opening weekend and that the peak flow appears to be holding steady.
All that sewage is being handled by a brand new, environmentally sensitive waste-water treatment plant that sits adjacent to the Whistler athletes village. The $38.5 million treatment facility wasn't part of the Olympic project, but construction started two years ago and the 2010 Games clearly pushed the municipal team.
"It definitely gave us a deadline," said Sander. "It gave us the anticipation of the rush to flush, so we had to deal with that."
The plant's waste-water heat is transferred to the adjacent athletes village, keeping a baseline temperature in the homes of about 13 C. The bio-solids, or sludge, are settled out and the facility then pumps clean, ultra-violet-treated water back into the Cheakamus River, which runs past what will become the neighbourhood of Cheakamus Crossing once
the athletes move on and locals move in.
Sander notes that the current athletes village dining hall, a massive white tent the size of several football fields anchored by the Games'
fast food sponsor, is actually perched atop the town's former dump, which was covered and capped three years ago.
"The world's biggest McDonalds is sitting on top of the cap of the old landfill now," said Sander.
Which brings us to the issue of bio-solids and what to do with them.
Since the town no longer has a landfill and can't afford to truck out the heavy sewage sludge, composting is more than just the correct environmental choice. It also makes financial sense.
That's where Pat Mulholland and the region's new $15-million composting plant comes in.
"Everybody in this town contributes to this project," Mulholland, the irrepressible biologist and compost operations manager at Carney's Waste Systems, said as a truck dumped a 10-tonne load of sludge into the foul
"bio-solids pit" at the composting shed.
"We get one or two of these truckloads a day and that's what really makes this whole operation work."
The resort town's many hotels and restaurants are encouraged to compost by economic incentives. They're charged $120 a tonne to dump trash but only $75 a tonne for biodegradable materials, which weigh much more.
All that fetid foodstuff and sewage sludge makes for a heady mix at the
Entering the shed, Mulholland claims to not even notice the overpowering stench that buffets newcomers like an Olympic moguls course and stays with them for hours afterward.
But nearby "Mixmaster Ed" _ the guy who operates the huge overhead crane
to combine human bio-solids, food waste and wood chips into a compostible gumbo _ is wearing a gas mask.
The pleasant young public relations person from Whistler2010, a veteran of numerous international media tours of the plant, maintains a wary distance well outside the shed's tall bay doors: been there, done that,
burned the T-shirt.
"This is good in the winter time," says Mulholland, grinning from ear to ear. "In the summer, it's a little riper in here."
The chronic bear problem at the old landfill has disappeared with the compost facility. It is surrounded by an electrified bear fence topped
by barbed wire and has electrified cattle grates under the gates.
Mulholland likens it to "Jurassic Park" but swears they rarely see anything prowling outside other than coyotes.
The plants' two, 80-metre-long composting tunnels can swallow up to 35 tonnes of food waste and up to 90 tonnes of bio-solids per week and churn it out the other end two weeks later as a rich, black loam that is sold to contractors and the public and is also used by the municipality.
Some was used to help landscape the athletes village a few kilometres up the highway.
They made 9,000 metres of compost last year in their first year of operation and expect to make 18,000 metres per season going forward. At about $35 per metre for the buying public, that's a lot of black gold.
Had Mulholland considered that Olympian DNA is about to pour into his facility?
"I hadn't really thought about that until now," he said, another grin lighting up his face. "We'll have an Olympic vintage compost!"