Toxic Sludge Products

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WARNING! Sewage sludge is toxic. Food should not be grown in "biosolids." Join the Food Rights Network.


This article is part of the Food Rights Network, a project of the Center for Media and Democracy. Find out more here.

Toxic Sludge Products are actually composted of sewage sludge. To dispose of sewage sludge produced by wastewater treatment plants, industry and the EPA have renamed them biosolids and dubbed them as 'green' examples of recycling, beneficial reuse, and organic fertilizer and compost products. In many cases, the sewage sludge is then packaged as compost or fertilizer and sold to unsuspecting home gardeners (how many people know what the word biosolids means??).

You Are Putting Hidden Toxic Sludge Onto Your Vegetable Garden

No law or regulation requires that sewage sludge be labeled in any way to warn you that the "organic compost" or "fertilizer you are buying contains it. So the sewage sludge industry, through its front groups like US Composting Council, is conducting the largest toxic scam in America, fooling millions of people into putting this hazardous waste product onto home and school gardens.

Case Study: Kellogg Sewage Sludge Products

The Truth about Kellogg "Organics" Amend

Kellogg Garden Products considers itself a green and socially responsible company. It is partnered with Hollywood's Environmental Media Association, giving them support and products which provide photo ops for Kellogg's products such as Amend. However, what Kellogg and the bag of Amend won't tell you is that the "compost" in it is sewage sludge! (Nitrohumus, Topper, Amend, and Gromulch) contain "composted" sewage sludge obtained from the Inland Empire Regional Composting Authority (IERCA).[1]

(IERCA) is a sewage sludge treatment plant in Rancho Cucagmonga, California. It was created and is operated by the Inland Empire Utilities Agency and the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County.[2] The IERCA treats sewage sludge from municipal waste treatment plants in San Bernardino County in California. It is the "nation's largest indoor composting facility," according to the IERCA website. The IERCA creates and markets SoilPro "biosolids compost," which is treated sewage sludge, and markets it to retail stores, backyard gardeners and other consumers. SoilPro is sold to southern California gardeners and is in Kellogg Garden Products like Amend, Topper, Gromulch, and Nitrohumus.

Sludge Products Sold by Corporations

Products by A1 Organics (Colorado & Nevada):

Products by Agresource, Inc.:

  • Agresoil (made from the sludge of several New England cities)

Products by EKO Compost, Inc. (Missoula, Maui, Lewiston plant on Idaho-Wahington border):

Products by Engel & Gray, Inc. (Santa Maria, CA):

Products by Kellogg Garden Products (Los Angeles, CA):

Products by Mannco Fertilizer Company (Conway, AR):

Products by New England Organics:

Products by N-Viro International Corporation:

Products by Synagro:

Products by WeCare Organics LLC (NY):

Municipal Sludge Products

Additionally, some cities give away their sewage sludge without branding it. For example, in Salida, CO, the Salida Wastewater Treatment Plant produces and gives away class A biosolids to the public.[3] The City & County of Honolulu Department of Environmental Services also offers sludge compost.[4]

Discontinued Sludge Products

The following products were produced in the past:

Articles and Resources

Related SourceWatch Articles


  1. The Inland Empire Regional Composting Authority Receives Honors from the American Academy of Environmental Engineers®, Inland Empire Utilities Agency, April 29, 2010.
  2. Inland Empire Regional Composting Authority: About Us IERCA Website Accessed April 11, 2011.
  3. Audrey Gilpin, "Wastewater plant yields free compost", The Mountain Mail, September 14, 2010, Accessed September 14, 2010.
  4. Recycled Products Guide, City & County of Honolulu Department of Environmental Services website, Accessed November 12, 2010.