increasing interest in composting in Kodiak these days. It’s the result of a
combination of factors, including rapidly decreasing landfill space and a
desire on the part of some people to find new uses for the town’s solid waste.
KMXT’s Casey Kelly reports.
The City of
Kodiak is looking for a new way to dispose of sludge, or human waste, from its
wastewater treatment plant. Last year the Kodiak Island Borough informed the
city that in two years it would no longer be able to accept sludge at its
landfill. Space is becoming an issue as are environmental concerns. So Public
Works Director Mark Kozak says the city started looking into alternative
disposal methods, including composting.
(Kozak 1 :13s “…good
for our users.”)
three options the city considered for sludge disposal, composting is the most
feasible and the cheapest. One option, known as cannibalism, involves having
tiny bugs eat the sludge. That was ruled out due to Kodiak’s cool climate,
which wouldn’t be ideal for keeping the microorganisms alive. The other option
was incineration, which has substantially higher overall costs than composting.
(Kozak 2 :16s “…of
the wastewater system.”)
plan isn’t without obstacles. In addition to sludge, the city needs a certain
amount of other material, such as cardboard and yard debris, to mix with the
human waste and make composting on such a large scale doable. The cardboard
should be no problem. It’s the yard debris that Kozak says he’s unsure about.
So the city is planning a pilot project that will offer a snapshot of a larger
composting program, to make sure it can be realistically done.
(Kozak 3 :27s “…to
go with the biosolids.”)
aspect of the pilot program will be to gauge the public’s interest in the end
product of composting. There’s concern that people in Kodiak won’t want to have
anything to do with the compost soil once it’s produced. But if Rick Pillans is
any indication, that should be no problem. Pillans is the manager of the
Threshold Recycling in Kodiak and a member of the borough’s Solid Waste
1 :15s “…soil
for growing things.”)
looking to start his own composting program. For now, it’s separate from the
city’s pilot project, but he says if it works they may decide to join forces.
2 :30s “…without
planning a trip to South Dakota next month for a composting conference. When he
returns he hopes to meet with interested parties and discuss the feasibility of
composting in Kodiak. The Kodiak City Council will review and approve a
proposal for the city’s composting pilot program at its October regular