GREENFIELD — The city’s wastewater department has so much biosolid material on hand, a contractor has been hired to haul it off to farmers outside the county who can use it for fertilizer.
The Greenfield sewer department has been turning waste into “Class A” biosolids for fertilizer since 2004. And while they’ve been advertising it and trying to get the agriculture community or gardeners interested in using the material, not enough people have taken them up on the offer.
“I think there’s a lot of misunderstanding or lack of education about it,” said Mike Fruth, director of utilities for the city. “Sometimes, there’s a fear that, coming from a wastewater treatment plant, it could be harmful.”
The biosolid is initially pumped from the sewer department’s sludge-holding tanks. Material is treated, and fly ash, a highly alkaline product, is added to increase the pH level and further solidify the material. It’s then heaped into storage barns, where the sun bakes it to 150 degrees for three days to eradicate any remaining pathogens.