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Moving Towards a Sustainable Biosolids Program: Part II – Five-Year Retrospective of the Biosolids Management System

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The definition of a successful biosolids management program depends on who you ask. More and more people are looking towards “sustainability“ as the ultimate yardstick of success. In the case of Orange County Sanitation District's (OCSD) biosolids management program, we define success as being able to maintain environmentally-friendly, socially-acceptable homes for our biosolids at a reasonable cost.

The year 2003 was a very important one for moving towards a sustainable biosolids management program at OCSD. This was the year that we became the first agency in the nation to be certified for our biosolids (environmental) management system (EMS) by the National Biosolids Partnership (NBP).

The retrospective of five years is a powerful tool for our staff to deliberate where we've been, what outcomes we have gained, what lessons have been learned along the way, and where we are headed in the future. This paper will share our insight in order to help other agencies understand the benefits of environmental management systems and learn from OCSD lessons to help save them time and energy down the road!

See Part I for the five-year retrospective of our Biosolids Management Long-Range Plan.

Keywords: EMS; EMS cost benefit analysis; Management system; NBP; OCSD; continuous improvement; environmental management system; public acceptance; sustainability

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2009

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