Facing The Challenges of Biosolids



Although biosolids have proven itself to be the safest alternative to chemical fertilizers (in fact, they are safer than commercial-grade fertilizers) when it comes to boosting the growth of crops, vegetation, fruits, and many others, there are still a lot of misconceptions and misunderstandings about its uses and benefits.

Since time immemorial, biosolids, in whatever form they have taken place in ancient times, have been in use to boost food production and to nourish the soil. Whether used as fertilizers or as soil amendment, biosolids have proven itself to be beneficial both for the user and the producer. On one hand, the business of biosolids production is a profitable one because the source of the main product is waste. Do you pay for waste? No. Simply, what facilities need to do is to establish a mechanism and a system that will bring and process household waste to the treatment plant.

Though the investment needed is monstrous since machines for the treatment and management of waste go up to the thousands of dollars, it will eventually pay for itself because sourcing materials is technically free. In return, facilities help communities and the government manage and dispose waste generated by millions of households across America.

The biggest challenge, however, to the use and benefits of biosolids is the education of stakeholders. The stakeholders include the biosolids generators, land owners and neighbors, private citizens, government representatives, and nongovernment organizations. Each of this group has its own concerns and misgivings about using biosolids. The problem is that not many government agencies are engaging with these stakeholders. There needs to be a focused educational program that will address the individual concerns in a professional and conscientious manner.

Naturally, a large portion of the population has antipathy towards biosolids. When asked about the origin of biosolids—where it came from and how it is being sourced—the natural feeling of people towards it is negative. After all, who would want to consume food that grew in soil fertilized and amended by household and sometimes, human waste.

To increase the knowledge and promote the acceptance of biosolids in the community, there needs to be a stakeholder consultation since this is the most powerful method to build confidence in using biosolids as soil fertilizer. This is also an important step in the development of a successful biosolids reclamation program because it is the stakeholders who will be able to push the acceptance of biosolids in the community.

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