Kodiak City Council on Thursday approved a 110-thousand dollar contract with
CH2M Hill for a pilot program that will test whether the city can compost
biosolids, which is basically human waste in the form of sludge. KMXT’s Casey
Kelly has more.
year the Kodiak Island Borough informed the city that in two years it would no
longer be able to accept sludge, or the solids left over from the city’s
wastewater treatment plant, at its landfill. Space is becoming an issue, as are
presented three possible options for sludge disposal to the city council in
August. Cannibalism, which is essentially having tiny bugs eat the sludge, was
ruled out because Kodiak’s climate is too cold to keep the microorganisms
alive. Another option, incineration, has fairly high up front and long term
costs. The cheapest overall option is composting. But first the city has to
find out if it’s feasible. Councilman Tom Walters admits he’s skeptical.
(Composting 1 :28s “…something
soon about that.”)
Haines admitted there are a lot of questions yet to be answered. He also wanted
to remind citizens that 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.
(Composting 2 :13s “…bring
them in from off island.”)
Jack Maker said
the big unknown for him is whether or not people in the community will be able
to use the large amount of compost that will be produced.
(Composting 3 :41s “…I
certainly hope it works out.”)
member Charlie Davidson has no doubt that the city will find a use for the end
(Composting 4 :14s “…that
experiment be successful.”)
Work on the
composting pilot project will begin immediately and take the better part of a
year. It involves building a temporary composting site on city property
adjacent to the wastewater treatment plant. If it’s successful, the city will
likely spend money to build a full-scale composting site, which will be in the
I’m Casey Kelly.