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Devil's advocte

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by YardPro, Sep 17, 2006.

  1. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,563

    just wanted to play a little DA today.

    I am in no way against organics, but here is an argument against them

    Methane..... methane is produced by many sources... one of wich is biological decomposition... methane is one of the largest global warming gasses that there is... so by promoting composting, and organic gardening we are contributing greatly to global warming...

    Methane is 23 times more effective than CO2 as a global warming agent....

    "greenhouse gas with a global warming potential over 100 years of 23.[1] When averaged over 100 years each kg of CH4 warms the earth 23 times as much as the same mass of CO2.

    The Earth's crust contains huge amounts of methane. Large amounts of methane are emitted to the atmosphere through mud volcanoes which are connected with deep geological faults or as the main constituent of biogas formed naturally by anaerobic digestion.

    damned if we do, damned if we don't
  2. Norm Al

    Norm Al LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,227

    everything has a negative
  3. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,342

    Lets suppose that instead of making a compost pile and depositing all our refuse to decompose and be reused in our gardens, instead we just dump all the refuse in a trash dump. Which will create the most methane gas? the material is going to decompose reguardless of which way we dispose of it. I dont see the point of trying to prove a compost pile is more harmful to the environment than depositing the material in a landfill. Seems like a waste of money on a useless study. And I think a landfill would be a more anaerobic environment than a compost pile.
  4. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,563

    most newly designed landfills have methane recovery systems. they provide enough methane to provide thier own power.

    i think that this was not at all a wasted study..
    It shows the importance of dealing with our waste in a smart way. In CA, and many other progressive states, all new landfills are beigh built with miles of piping to recover all the methane, then it is "scrubbed" to purify it. It can then be used as an energy source. remember methane is "natural gas"
    this is the way all landfills should be constructed. It cost WAY more upfront, but after selling the gas to locak townships, the landfills will more than offset the added construction expense.
  5. upidstay

    upidstay LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Posts: 1,341

    A friend sent me an article about a kelp farm in the Atlantic Ocean, somewhere down in Central America. Apparently some environmental groups were all up in arms because they were choking out sea turtle swimming areas or somesuch. The kelp was being grown for organic fertilizers.
    Like Norm Al said, everytrhing has a negative.
  6. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,563

    this is why i get short with some of the "overzealous" activist. If someone has looked at both sides of an issue and thought an idea out then by all means, promote your ideas, but when someone only looks at one side and does not even consider the flip side, they often become disillusioned. The first thing they teach you in debate class is to know your oppositions side of the argument. If you know more about thier side than they do, you can easially beat them in a debate.

    i used to follow the dead saw about 90 shows, and all my friends were big time liberal hippies. I kept seeing them being so one sided, and having the attitude that thier belief was the ONLY way... and either you were with them, or against them. as i got older i saw that they were isolating themselves in a bubble and refusing to give ANY credibility to ideas that were not in line with thiers....this is a problem on both sides of the argument.... the reality will lie somewhere in the middle.
  7. livingsoils

    livingsoils LawnSite Member
    Posts: 97

    You made a big assumption, that the "Globe" is really warming because of all the chemicals that us humans put into the environment.:dizzy:
    Mike :hammerhead:
  8. Neal Wolbert

    Neal Wolbert LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 407

    Here's some recent sad news in Washington State (The Olympian 9-19-06). Discoveries like this add lots of weight to the synthetic side of the fertiliizer bridge. At least you can trust what's in them. Neal

    Chemicals found in garden biosolids

    The Associated Press

    TACOMA - Promoted as a great way to dispose of treated waste, the sewage sludge sold to homeowners to spray on their lawns and gardens might also be adding drugs, flame retardants and other chemicals to the landscape.

    Chad Kinney, an assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Eastern Washington University, found dozens of medicinal, industrial and household compounds in treated sewage sludge, also known as biosolids, that government agencies sell as lawn-and-garden enhancements.

    "No matter what biosolid we looked at, there were some of these compounds in it," said Kinney, whose research on the subject was published in online editions of the journal Environmental Science & Technology. The U.S. Geological Survey's Toxic Substance Hydrology Program supported his work, which began while he was a postdoctoral fellow at the U.S. Geological Survey.

    Kinney and his team studied nine biosolid products from seven states: Washington, Arizona, Wisconsin, Kansas, Colorado, Texas and Iowa.

    The scientists found that it didn't matter what wastewater treatment method was used,

    25 compounds were found in each of the samples. They were looking for 87 different compounds and found 55 in one or more of the biosolids and at least 30 in each of the samples. The product with the most compounds had 45.

    Although government regulators and health officials said there is no immediate risk to public health, the study's authors called for more research on the long-term effect on the environment.

    "We've been using biosolids for over 30 years safely," said Peggy Leonard, biosolids program manager for King County's waste treatment division, which produces GroCo. "As far as I know, there is no risk."

    Thomas Burke, a professor of public health policy at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, said Kinney's research and other studies should be a wake-up call for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

    "I don't think people understood before this that they might be applying pharmaceuticals and disinfectants to their front lawns," Burke said.

    The EPA has promoted the benefits of biosolids for decades because they contain the same nutrients - nitrogen and phosphorus - found in fertilizers.

    Rick Stevens, national biosolids coordinator for the EPA, said in an e-mail to The News Tribune of Tacoma that the agency stands by its existing biosolids regulations. State officials also said they do not think people should worry about exposure to chemicals in biosolids.

    In King County, Leonard called Kinney's research a "good start," but said it fails to answer whether the chemicals break down in soils and whether they pose danger.

    Dan Thomas, Tacoma's wastewater operations manager, said the issues raised by Kinney's report are not new.

    "It's something we need to keep our eye on but we're not super-concerned at this time. We know these constituents are here. There's no reason to believe there's a health threat," Thomas said.

    Soil scientists at Cornell University's Waste Management Institute have been asking for more regulatory scrutiny of biosolids.

    "I certainly would not use this material on my garden" said Ellen Harrison, director of the Waste Management Institute.

    Burke of Johns Hopkins called the EPA regulations out of date, adding that some of the chemicals identified in the study have been shown to disrupt fish reproduction.

    "These are things that have biological implications and we have to understand them better," Burke said.
  9. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,563

    i never thought of all that stuff being in the waste... i had been a proponet of reuse of the treated sewage. guess i'll have to rethink my stance on this one.
  10. Prolawnservice

    Prolawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 612

    :confused: What? How many is it? Most guidelines for a natural organic program do not include biosolids. :nono:

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