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The Biosolids Management program of King County, Washington (formerly known as Seattle Metro) recycles its biosolids in five major land application projects, with partners from private industry, environmental organizations, state universities, and state government. The program enjoys outspoken support from the public and the news media, and most importantly, has more demand for biosolids than supply.

In the 1980s, Metro operated a program of soil improvement, forest application, and composting. But it suffered setbacks when a major soil improvement site closed and when NIMBY groups both inside and outside the county objected to land purchases for long-term sludge application. The program regrouped and built a successful agriculture program east of the Cascade Mountains. In the last few years, the in-county forestry program has been restructured to include many partners and to provide multiple public benefits. Today's biosolids management program is more stable and cost-effective than ever before, and enjoys public support.

The mission of the program is to plan and manage the beneficial use of biosolids in a cost effective, environmentally safe and publicly acceptable manner. To accomplish this mission, the program has identified three goals:

To provide stable biosolids recycling options through short- and long-range planning and analysis of current and future markets.

To reduce recycling costs by use of public/private partnerships, intergovernmental cooperation and innovations in technologies.

To provide clear, accurate public information and university-conducted research and demonstration projects.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2000

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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