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For eighty years the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) has marketed their branded biosolid, Milorganite® 6-2-0, as a fertilizer. Customers include both consumer and professional users. Marketing success requires the utilization of many resources to resolve both regulatory and distribution concerns. When these concerns are not resolved, no distribution of biosolids occurs.

Regulatory issues must are the first concern. Biosolids are regulated under two sets of rules: 40CFR Part 503 and state fertilizer laws. For sale into the packaged goods consumer market, Part 503, so-called Exceptional Quality, biosolids rules must be met. This allows distribution to occur throughout the marketplace without concern as to end-user record keeping. States also permit use of biosolids within their borders. This second set of rules concerns the labeling and registration of biosolids for use as a fertilizer. Each state, except Alaska, requires annual registration of fertilizing materials sold in their state.

Once regulatory concerns are resolved, a marketing scheme must be developed. This includes (1) brand development, (2) market selection, (3) distribution channel development, and (4) provide product packaging, support materials and instructions to enable users to successfully fertilize their plants. To accomplish this, MMSD annually budgets 2.9 million for sale of 45,000 ton of Milorganite products.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2006

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