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Advertise organics now?

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by starry night, Mar 4, 2009.

  1. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    You really think that they filter all the toxins out of the water and stash them in the Milorganite?!?

    I haven't seen how they compost humans - so I can't comment on that.
  2. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Messages: 2,636

    ROFL :clapping:
  3. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,263

    Quackgrass: I can't tell if you're for 'em or agin' 'em.
  4. quackgrass

    quackgrass LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 253

    Milorganite is the toxin filtered out of the water. Do you think treatment plants catch turds for sport? Turds are toxins and they capture them to keep our waters clean. It also happens to make a great fertilizer.

    Those of us that run composting plants refer to the product by what it is based on. "Human compost" refers to a product that is about 1/3rd human feces.

    When human feces leaves the body and goes to a water treatment plant, it goes through a major filtering process to insure that our water ways are not being polluted.

    Consequently, what is filtered out of the water contains many things.

    This is from the latest EPA report:
    Briefly, the survey found in 84 random samples of treated sludge:

    * The four anions were found in every sample.
    * 27 metals were found in virtually every sample, with one metal (antimony) found in no less than 72 samples.
    * Of the six semivolatile organics and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, four were found in at least 72 samples, one was found in 63 samples, and one was found in 39 samples.
    * Of the 72 pharmaceuticals, three (i.e., cyprofloxacin, diphenhydramine, and triclocarban) were found in all 84 samples and nine were found in at least 80 of the samples. However, 15 pharmaceuticals were not found in any sample and 29 were found in fewer than three samples.
    * Of the 25 steroids and hormones, three steroids (i.e., campesterol, cholestanol, and coprostanol) were found in all 84 samples and six steroids were found in at least 80 of the samples. One hormone (i.e., 17a-ethynyl estradiol) was not found in any sample and five hormones were found in fewer than six samples.
    * All of the flame retardants except one (BDE-138) were essentially found in every sample; BDE-138 was found in 54 out of 84 samples.

  5. quackgrass

    quackgrass LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 253

    I couldn't have a weirder perspective.

    1. I was a share holder and developer of an awesome company called Bio-logics. We obtained a license to produce compost, including We sold to the public, but mostly for mine reclamation projects.

    2. I work for an environmental engineering company doing reclamation on super-fund sites.

    3. My wife works for the DEQ

    4. My Family owns a Lawn, tree, pest and weed control company. I've helped them create an organic program and I know the synthetic side also.

    I am for the best solution. Sometimes its Organic, other times its synthetic. I am against people's assumptions that organics better and man made is always harmful. I just want a spade to be a spade. My O/P was advice to avoid getting into toxicology with a customer, its very complicated and you probably don't have enough info right now. Just keep your marketing peaceful without trashing other LCO's.
  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Milwaukee doesn't whitewash what is in your basic sewage sludge and what go back into the lake.

    A good case of Cryptosporidium proves to be a good 'Wake-up Call'.

    Your article about sewage sludge a reportted by the EPA statutitions has nothing to do with Milorganite?
    The EPA has analysed that as well.

    If there are lies out there then we need to know that. :)

    If the EPA says sludge is bad, but can be cleaned up to make NPK and fe for vegetables and everyone with a testing method agrees then....

    then we need to be smart enough to know what that means.
  7. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,263

    Quackgrass: At least you're smart enough to know your perspective is "weird."
    I say that in a complimentary way. I've only been studying organics during this off-season (for us Northerners.) I can see that there are as many questions as there are answers. Thanks for your advice on marketing. While I may end up serving some clients who are frightened of "chemicals", my main offering will be building up the soil as the way to better turf. I have always practiced IPM for plants and turf. For instance, I rarely blanket spray for weed control. It's always been the pump-up sprayer for me. As for plant pests, many times it's just good ol' soap and water.
  8. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    This is an unfortunate stigma that has been cast on the "organic" crowd due to the actions of zealots and political perception/agendas. It is not really a question of what is better, but more a question of what is sustainable. Can organics (ex. biosolids) do just as much harm to the environment, absolutely. Every site needs to be assessed independently to determine the most logical and sustainable way to manage it, and for what products can be used successfully. Sometimes this means a bridge, sometimes a complete redesign, and others an all organic approach, sometimes biosolids, or just a mix of all.

    Point is, there is no such thing as one size fits all. If I were dealing with sandy soils and a shallow water table (ex. TG), an all biosolid program or an all synthetic program would not be a good idea. A small percentage of biosolids mixed in with green waste compost probably would be the best way to use the shiit in this case. On the other hand, an all biosolids program with soils high in clay and deep water tables may be acceptable depending on land usage.
  9. quackgrass

    quackgrass LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 253

    I am a big supporter of composting in the right situation, but I don't want to be guilty of down playing its hazards. Many consumers, and providers of compost act as if there isn't a foot print or impact from its use.

    I have paid enough diesel bills and purchased enough heavy equipment to know that composting requires a tremendous amount of energy. It has a foot print.

    The Super Fund sites I have worked on used over a million yards of compost to fortify soil that was stripped of organics by mining. Taking soil that couldn't grow a weed and turning it into a lush pasture is an amazing thing and I saw first hand what compost could do.

    I also realized the downside to compost after seeing how many toxins it actually contains. The goal of these Super Fund sites was not only reestablish vegetation, but to have a 24" layer of "clean" soil. Many of the areas where we had tilled compost into clean capping soil, didn't meet the EPA's strict requirements for being clean. The problem was traced back to the Human sludge compost, which contained a high amount of metals and other contaminates.

    The EPA had permitted the use of sludge without fully knowing what it contained because it is exempt from thorough testing. Recently they have chosen to find out more about it and its effects.

    Everything we do has some impact on the environment, even a natural peat topdressing has to be mined and hauled. Claiming organic services are the lesser of two evils is speculation at best. Claims like "safe" "environmentally friendly", preys on peoples emotions by allowing them to shrug off environmental responcibility. It isn't allowed in the synthetic industry so why should it be done in the organic industry?

    I'm not saying don't do any services because its potentially harmful or unnatural to the environment, I'm saying sell your services based on what it does for the customer.
  10. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334


    I think it would lead to less confusion if when referring to biosolids (eg. sludge derived), use biosolids instead of compost. Yes it is "compost", but it is important to distinguish the differences. A compost derived from green waste is far less likely to contain harmful byproducts than a sludge or all manure compost.

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