Maryland Environmental Service
Toxic Sewage Sludge Given Away as "Organic Biosolids Compost"
In 2009 a major controversy erupted in San Francisco when the Center for Food Safety and the Organic Consumers Association called on the SFPUC to end its give-away of toxic sewage sludge as free "organic biosolids compost" to gardeners. A March 4, 2010, demonstration at City Hall by the OCA forced a temporary halt to the program. (See articles below)   The misleading labeled "organic compost," which the PUC has given away free to gardeners since 2007, is composed of toxic sewage sludge from San Francisco and eight other counties. Very little toxicity testing has been done, but what little has been done is alarming. Just the sludge from San Francisco alone has tested positive for 1,2-Dibromo-3-Chloropropane (a.k.a. DBCP), Isopropyltoluene (a.k.a. p-cymene or p-isopropyltoluene), Dioxins and Furans. 
Articles and resources
Related SourceWatch articles
- Sludge Compost Facilities, NEBRA Report BioCycle Magazine, December, 2010.
- Heather Knight, Nonprofit calls PUC's compost toxic sludge, San Francisco Chronicle, September 27, 2009.
- Barry Estabrook, Free Compost--Or Toxic Sludge?, The Atlantic, December 1, 2009
- Anna Werner, Concern Over SF Compost Made from Sewage Sludge, CBS Channel 5, March 3, 2010
- Leora Broydo Vestel, http://greeninc.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/04/09/food-groups-clash-over-compost-sludge/ Food Groups Clash Over Compost Sludge, New York Times Green Inc. blog, April 9 2010.
- Chris Roberts, Farmers Call PUC's Shit, Will Dump it on City Hall Today, San Francisco Appeal, March 4, 2010.
- Jill Richardson, What San Francisco Found in Their Own Sludge, La Vida Locavore blog, April 8, 2010.
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