GreenEdge is produced in communities including Lakeland, Florida, contracts with cities such as Jacksonville, Florida, to turn its sewage sludge into treated sludge pellets and return some profits to the local utility company, JEA (which "sells the product for about $60,000 annually"), and sells the products at stores including local Ace Hardware stores, where shoppers are encouraged to buy the product instead of Milorganite because it's local, in order to "keep the money here."
Controversial Claims Made About GreenEdge
Hundreds of communities across the U.S. sell toxic sludge products that are typically renamed biosolids and sold or given away as "fertilizer" or "compost" (and often even labeled or marketed as "natural" or "organic"). GreenEdge is advertised as "organic fertilizer." The company's founder, president and chief technology developer, Amir Varshovi, told Florida newspaper the Lakeland Ledger that "the advantage with the GreenEdge fertilizer is that it's organic and works well for Florida's sandy soils."
It has been called "earth-friendly," "environmentally friendly" and "sustainable," but before the Ocean Dumping ban of 1987 went into effect in 1992, sludge dumped into the ocean caused vast dead moon-scapes on the ocean floor. And the land “application” of treated sewage sludge pollutes "the whole chain of life for which soil is the base."
In 2002, Varshovi told the Jacksonville Business Journal that "the No. 1 reason people should use [GreenEdge] is it is ergonomically better material." Varshovi has a doctorate in turf grass nutrition and soil fertility from the University of Florida, but neither his statement nor the Journal article explained how the sludge product could be "ergonomic."
- Amir Varshovi, Founder, President and Chief Technology Developer (former University of Florida senior scientist, member of the American Chemical Society and the sludge front group the Water Environment Federation, and holder of at least one fertilizer patent
Articles and Resources
Related SourceWatch Articles
- Sewage sludge
- Food Rights Network
- Kellogg Garden Products
- Sewage sludge giveaways, producers, and brands
- The EPA's plan to bypass opposition to sewage sludge disposal
- Water Environment Federation
- You say biosolids, I say sewage sludge
- Lisa Graves, Don't Be Duped by the Sewage Sludge Industry's 'Compost', PRWatch, May 3, 2011.
- Marie Kulick, Smart Guide on Sludge Use and Food Production, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, 2008.
- Targeted National Sewage Sludge Survey: EPA-822-R-08-016 and EPA-822-R-08-018, EPA, January 2009.
- Environmental Working Group, Dumping Sewage Sludge On Organic Farms? Why USDA Should Just Say No, April, 1998.
- Environmental Working Group, Routes of Exposure sewage sludge: EWG Research on Chemicals in sewage sludge, April 30, 1998.
- GreenTechnologies, LLC, Brochure, product brochure, accessed April 2012
- Jessica Gellady, Waste not: JEA creates earth-friendly fertilizer, Jacksonville Business Journal, July 15, 2002
- Elvina Nawaguna, Lakeland Gets Fertilizer Plant Green Technologies; Hopes to Collaborate With USF Poly, Lakeland Ledger, April 18, 2012, accessed April 2012
- Matt Galnor, Treated sewer sludge turning profit for JEA, Florida Times-Union, March 9, 2004, accessed April 2012
- U.S. National Archives and Records Administraiton, Electronic Code of Federal Regulations, Title 7: Agriculture, PART 205—NATIONAL ORGANIC PROGRAM, Subpart B—Applicability § 205.105 Allowed and prohibited substances, methods, and ingredients in organic production and handling., federal regulation, accessed April 2012
- About Sewage Sludge, SludgeNews.com, accessed April 2012
- GreenTechnologies, About GreenTechnologies, corporate website, accessed April 2012
- Amir Varshovi, LinkedIn profile, online business profile, accessed April 2012
- Organic-based fertilizer, USPTO Applicaton #: #20050022569 - Class: 071006000 (USPTO), FreshPatents.com, 2005, accessed April 2012
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