Monday, August 21, 2006

Stinking Compost

In today's NY Daily News there is an article about the problems facing the New York Organic Fertilizer Company. It appears that the company has been at war with the local community over the operation of its plant and Congressman Jose Serrano is looking for the State to close the facility.

Now we have been commenting quite a bit on the whole compost issue and it should be pointed out that this South Bronx firm is processing almost all of the city's biosolids, sludge from the waste water plants, into compost. All such facilities, however, create a degree of discomfort for their host communities.

That is why it is so difficult to do composting in heavily congested urban areas. Still, utilizing biosolids from the city's water treatment plants is preferable to aging and simmering putrescibles in an urban setting. That is why composting facilities (really landfills in impact) are located far away from population centers.

All of this data should be part of a pilot program and analysis that the City Council should do in its ongoing evaluation of how the city should deal with its food waste. The agreement reached between the council and the mayor's office on this issue (the study to determine the advisability of a pilot program) is pure flim-flam since the DEP has made it clear that they don't feel a pilot is the most "scientific" method to evaluate what to do with food waste (we're waiting for the seance).