Friday, March 27, 2009

Really, it didn't smell!

A blast from the past this week from my good friend Steven C. Davis, President of Rackemann Strategic Consulting, Inc. Steve was head of the MA Environmental Policy Act office when I was running the regional water and sewer system. We were both committed to figuring out how to stop sewage sludge discharges into Boston Harbor. The answer was to collect the sludge, dry and bake it, and make it into fertilizer. It is still going on, and 70 tons per day of sludge are now recycled and used beneficially.

Paul:

I was just looking at the ficus benjamina tree in my office and remembered with great clarity when I was MEPA Director. You came to visit around the sludge processing plant for MWRA and brought a small bag of the processed sludge, which was to be used as a soil amendment and fertilizer. I put it around the roots of the ficus and told you that if the tree flourished, it would be a good thing. The tree flourished and, lo, these 23 or 24 years later, it still thrives and it still is in my office.

What a pleasant memory. I hope all is well with you.

Steve

3 comments:

MC5 said...

Nick Kristof has a nice piece in yesterday's NY Times http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/29/opinion/29kristof.html?_r=1
about a similar counterintuitive use of "waste." It certainly puts a new spin on the term "toxic assets."

Anonymous said...

Hi Paul,

How can the rest of us get our hands on some recycled Boston poo?

Paul Levy said...

Dunno. I guess you could contact the MA Water Resources Authority.