Processing sewage is a challenging and expensive endeavor, one that can contaminate the surrounding environment. NYT reports that New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection is looking at ways to turn the costly and polluting process into one that creates energy and income.
Naturally occuring algae at New York waste plants produce sludge and butanol that can be converted into a gasoline alternative (in the form of methane gas) to power homes. Wastewater management in NYC costs about $400 million annually, and this new approach could reduce that number drastically. The 1,200 tons of sludge produced daily in the city has traditionally been sent to landfills after being treated, at a high expense to taxpayers as well as the environment.
This is another ingenious example of turning trash into treasure, in a renewable and green form. Props to NYC and hopefully the project goes strong and spreads to a city near you.
(via New York Times)
Photo: The Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant in Greenpoint, Brooklyn is known for its architectural design. It opened in 1967 and is the largest of the 14 plants in the city. (Raymond McCrea Jones/NYT)