SIX YEARS AND STILL GOING ONONDAGA COUNTY'S 10 YEAR BIOSOLIDS PRIVATIZATION PROGRAM
Abstract:Approximately six years ago, Onondaga County Department of Drainage and Sanitation (County) began full scale operation of a 240 tons per day beneficial use processing facility under a 10 year contract with Waste Stream Environmental, Inc. (WSE). The start up of the 2.5 million N-Viro Soil processing facility culminated a five year process that began in 1989 to select a private contractor using the Design-Build-Own-Operate (DBOO) method to deliver a biosolids processing facility and market the product produced from the biosolids generated from eight wastewater treatment facilities operated by the County. After soliciting and evaluating proposals, the 10 year contract was awarded to WSE and an agreement was executed on September 29, 1992. The 10 year agreement included such contract provisions as:
requiring a contractor to process and/or disposal of 240 tons per day of biosolids
financing the design and construction
requirements for obtaining all necessary permits
minimum guaranteed payments
developing a marketing plan
product liability insurance
Since initial operation in June 1994, 250,000 tons of biosolids produced by eight County treatment plants have been processed into a soil product. N-Viro Soil has primarily been used as an aglime on more than 70,000 acres in the agricultural industry in twelve counties in the central New York area. The 370,000 tons of product produced by WSE has been marketed by their affiliate company Earth Blends, Inc. which is registered as an agricultural lime with the NY State Department of Agriculture and Markets. Earth Blends maintains a customer database of more than 800 farms that have purchased the N-Viro Soil Product. The program's success was recognized in 1998 when WSE was honored with the Governor's Waste Reduction and Recycling Program Innovation Award. The product has been successfully used to enhance soil to grow crops such as alfalfa, corn, hay, oats, and winter wheat. This paper includes details of the program including the County's perspective on the advantages and disadvantages of this privatization program.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 2000
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