Sustainable Waste

Biosolids
7:50 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Chemicals In Human Waste Can Harm Crop Land

Human waste, called "biosolids", is commonly used to fertilize crop land. Duke University researchers say they have found a practical way to test whether the biosolids contain chemicals that will harm the soil.
Credit Bob Is Traveling / Flickr Creative Commons

Many farms spread human waste on cropland to fertilize it. In this case, the waste is called "biosolids". It can carry household chemicals that affect important bacteria, and that can hurt soil health.

The government has had a hard time regulating chemicals in biosolids, because the equipment that measured bacterial gases was very expensive.

But a new report from Duke University's school of engineering shows that bacterial reactions to chemicals can be assessed by changes in color. That's a cheaper test to administer.

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Business & Economy
7:50 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Wake County Landfill Buys 10 More Years

The amount of garbage going into the Wake County land fill has shrunk over the last four years.
Credit N.C. Division of Waste Management

The amount of garbage headed to the Wake County has dropped significantly in the past few years.

In 2009, the county buried 460,000 tons of garbage. That dropped to 400,000 last year.

Wake County Solid Waste Manager John Roberson says a number of factors impacted the reduction in waste going to the landfill: People bought and threw out less during the recession, recycling options improved, and commercial waste businesses disposed of garbage elsewhere.

Roberson says his division saw a $2 million drop in revenue over the past four years.

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Environment
2:30 am
Thu January 26, 2012

Raleigh Opens Sustainable Waste Services Facility

Raleigh has opened what it calls the nation's most sustainable solid waste services facility. The new operations center was built to LEED platinum standards - the highest level of sustainability certification. City manager Russell Allen says the building was constructed with re-used and recycled materials where possible. It includes solar panels and geothermal systems; and will have plug-in electric vehicles.

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Environment
4:50 am
Mon December 26, 2011

UNC Recycles Methane from Landfill

Orange County and UNC Chapel Hill are working together to make productive use of a landfill gas. Methane originates from the decomposition of organic materials such as food. The collaboration will collect methane from the county's landfill and use it to produce electricity using a generator at UNC. Ray DuBose is the director of UNC Energy Services. He says projects like these are not without precedent.

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