Sewage Sludge in the News

October 17, 2011

  • As if Sewage Sludge Wasn’t Toxic Enough Already: Tokyo citizens performing their own testing, as government officials said they had no plans to, are finding high levels of radiation 160 miles from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, including in municipal sewage sludge (New York Times, 10/14). According to Reuters (10/17), “in northern Japan, stored-up radioactive ash and dehydrated sludge from the sewage treatment process alone totaled 52,000 tones in mid-September, up 63 percent from levels at the end of July.” Through the “purification” process, part of the radioactive caesium was concentrated in sludge as well as the ash that is produced by burning sludge.
  • Kellogg Garden Products Sludging More Los Angeles Schools?: “Kellogg Garden Products donated soil bags, planting mix bags and fertilizer” to Whittier’s Trinity Lutheran School, Whittier Daily News reports (10/13). If these products included Kellogg’s Amend, Nitrohumus, Topper or Gromulch (all of which contain “compost” made from Los Angeles sewage), then Whittier Trinity Lutheran joins the list of 13 other schools that may have been sludged.
  • Sludge Facility in New Brunswick Lauded for Sludging its Neighbors: The Times & Transcript(10/15) congratulates Moncton Metro sludge facility on “dealing” with industrial and human waste locally by creating “a facility in Moncton that removes the solids from the waste at their treatment plant and turns it into top-grade compost. When they began, they couldn’t find any market for the compost; now they can’t produce it fast enough to meet the demand. The facility has turned a liability into a marketable product, reducing the amount of waste coming from their treatment plant and saving money as well as the environment.” This PR spin of calling sewage sludge “compost,” which it is not, turns the sludging of its neighbors into a marketing victory.
  • New Hampshire Residents Continue to Fight Sludge: A well-written letter to the editor by Caroline Snyder, PhD, in the Crestview News Bulletin reminds Baker, NH residents exactly why they should be concerned about sludge being dumped in their neighborhood. For example, “major food processing companies like DelMonte, Heinz, and Western Growers do not accept produce grown on land that has been treated with bio-solids.
    “Evidence is mounting that this controversial practice does not protect human health, livestock or the environment. Every month, every Florida business, institution, hospital, metal plating shop, and superfund site, is permitted to discharge 33 pounds of liquid hazardous waste into sewage treatment plants.”

Filed under: In the News,Sewage Sludge

1 Comment Leave a Comment

  • 1. RichWa  |  October 19, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    Compost and green waste used by USDA Organic factory farms may not be any better than sludge; sludge, at least, is tested for contaminants such as heavy metals, etc. Compost/green waste used on USDA Organic factory farms is known to contain pesticide residue (eg bifenthrin); this was found out by accident. When discovered, both the USDA AMS NOP staff and the California Department of Food and Agriculture declared the compost/green waste not allowed for USDA Organic use as the pesticide is one which can be used on USDA Organic land/produce. After meeting with “stakeholders” such as factory farming operations, the USDA AMS over rode it’s own staff to permit usage: NOP 5016. (
    Further, testing of compost and green waste is severely discouraged so basically anything that can end up in a compost heap will end up on USDA Organic land.

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