A recent article I read, written by Megan Greenwalt, talks about a Michigan county landfill and their project to use septic waste to help eliminate waste at the landfill. The landfill is Smiths Creek Landfill located in St. Clair County, MI has been using a unique avenue when managing municipal solid waste. This unique avenue is using human fecal waste from residential septic tanks to help eliminate waste and produce energy. This began back in 2008 when St. Clair County launched a full‐scale bioreactor landfill Research, Development, and Demonstration Project (RDDP) with legislative, regulatory, and industry partners. The RDDP became the first septage bioreactor landfill in the United States.
Using the expertise of the county’s consultant CTI and Associates Inc. in environmental engineering, it was determined that septic waste injected into the landfill would greatly speed up the decomposition of the waste. This in turn would allow the landfill to remain in service for much longer. Matthew Williams, landfill and resource recovery manager for Smiths Creek Landfill stated that in the long term the waste mass is stabilized much faster than in a traditionally operated landfill which would help reduce any future risks to the environment.
To read more about this unique approach and on how it produces energy click the following link to Megan Greenwalt’s original article.