Modern wastewater treatment plants are a marvel of engineering—dramatically reducing human disease and environmental issues. However, these plants are expensive to build and operate, and they contribute to environmental issues in the form of unprocessed pharmaceuticals, and excess nutrients in water systems.
AdkAction is delighted to announce that they have received a grant for their Compost for Good project from the Cloudsplitter Foundation to determine what will be required to build a research/demonstration facility to test the commercial viability of diverting large amounts of human urine from wastewater treatment plants and turning that urine into compost.
This work began thanks to a 2019 Cloudsplitter Foundation grant, when John Culpepper, one of the Compost for Good project founders, set out to determine if human urine could be processed, safely and efficiently, through a high temperature composting system. Since the vast majority of nutrients and pharmaceuticals that humans excrete is in the form of urine, diverting urine from wastewater treatment plants would prevent many of the environmental problems that result from conventional treatment methods.
After successfully producing high quality compost from urine at a relatively small scale, this grant allows the Compost for Good team to explore this simple approach to “waste” management on a much larger scale. This has enormous environmental implications, but also has the potential to create thousands of new jobs, create high value soil amendment, and save communities money by significantly lowering the cost of operating wastewater treatment plants.