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An Integratedwaste Management Approach to Biosolids: The Experience of Delaware County, NY

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The management and treatment of solid waste, including biosolids, remains an “economic” challenge. In today's solid waste management arena, we have advanced from the “old dump” to diversified systems of waste management. The irony of this diversification, however, is that while waste management practices have become more environmentally sound than the old practices, we have added levels of complexity. In addition, the “reduce, reuse, recycle hierarchy” has not been maximized, and cost efficiencies have not been collectively achieved – for which we are continually scrutinized by the public. Governments at all levels deal with a wide variety of solid waste streams, changing regulations, variations within individual waste streams, changes in markets, and public attitudes that can result in many restless nights for public managers – not to mention unknowns such as potential long-term liability and economic influences (private competition, consistent waste products, inflation, cost of fuel, etc.).

For biosolids, management options have typically included landspreading, stabilization processes, landfill disposal, incineration, and composting. The potential challenges associated with each of these options will be reviewed during this presentation. The resolution of these issues often leaves operators and municipal officials shaking their heads in frustration. Likewise, solid waste officials must cost-effectively manage multiple, complex waste streams in a manner that complies with all regulations, minimizes liabilities and risks, and fulfills customer service needs. In fact, many of the management options actually create different waste byproducts, as well as new liabilities (whether perceived or real).

Through co-composting of municipal solid waste and biosolids, Delaware County, New York, has implemented an “improved MSW and Biosolids Co-Composting Technology” to their Solid Waste Management Strategy. The purpose of this presentation is to share the results of Delaware County's first two years of co-composting operations for their new facility, including how the County's project team overcame a variety of challenges and hurdles with respect to the delivery of this technology – for a facility that is located within the New York City Watershed.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2008

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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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