Re: sludge, organic
Mon, 16 Nov 98 08:54:17 CST
On sludges: Don't sources of mineral "organic" fertilizers
have to be approved individually? There are good and bad
sources of rock phosphate, and I'd be surprised if any old
rock phosphate is approved for organic application. If
sludges were included in potential organic fertilizers, they
should have to undergo separate certification, and they
should be assumed guilty until proven innocent. But this
would provide incentive and a POTENTIAL market for wastes
from the "trial communities" other writers proposed.
Without the option to use approved sludge, even the most
pristine sewage will be unavailable to organic growers.
No, the USDA cannot snap their fingers and reroute a million
miles of sewage pipes, but the heads of the USDA and EPA are
a lot closer to the people who could start source-separation
than most of us. And if there is no demand, no potential
use, there is no reason for it to happen. The only reason
it could happen is to provide an agricultural/environmental
There are countries in this world where certain government
programs actually help organic growers. In The Netherlands,
and maybe elsewhere, there is property tax relief for
growers in the conversion to organic. These things can
happen. Yes, there should be many kinds of "organic." Yes,
the certification process is too expensive to farmers. Yes,
taxes force farmers to export their resources. Yes, most
sewage sludge has to be cleaned up more before it is a
suitable soil amendment. Keep asking, be specific, and
don't give up hope in all of us just yet.
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