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Besides losing my job today, crap happens!

Crap Happens: A Grist Special Report on How We Dispose of Our Poop
A Grist Special Series Intro

Tom Twigg / GristThree hundred million Americans head to the restroom multiple times a day. The amount of sludge produced staggers the mind—7 million dry tons per year and counting. And it’s not even just crap—it contains residues from everything else we put down the drain, from the detergent in your dishwasher to the chemicals used at the industrial plant down the street.

Can the United States continue to flush all that waste down the drain? Can Western-style sanitary practices be replicated throughout the developing world without breaking the natural water and nutrient cycles? And what if the answer is that each one of us needs to start taking more responsibility for where our crap winds up? It ain’t easy being green as it is, but even the most diehard enviros may not be ready to live under the same roof with a composting toilet.

Journalist Catherine Price, a contributing editor at Popular Science and a 2008 Middlebury Fellow in Environmental Reporting, gives a crap about crap. Over the course of three days, she’ll take Grist readers on a guided tour through the bowels of sewage. So grab some extra toilet paper and get ready for some straight poop on poop.

Day 1
Sludge, farmer’s friend or toxic slime?

Day 2
Regulating biosolids

Day 3
Business Struggle to Profit From Sewage Sludge

For some eco-pioneers, solving the sludge problems means getting their hands dirty
Weekly Grist: A special report on poop, a comparison of eco-shampoos, etc. www.Grist.com

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Tags: compost, crap, poop, sludge


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Comment by Ellen on November 11, 2010 at 11:39am
Update on crap......errr....human poop, and a Short Essay on Our 'Humble Piles'
A Rapture of Humus and Human Aversion to Waste

Taking the 'Waste' Out of Human Waste

* By Lauren R. Harrison
Chicago Tribune, November 4, 2010
Straight to the Source

We do it every day.

But how many of us think about what happens after we pull the toilet lever?

Increasingly, people in Chicago and across the world are. They're questioning the sustainability of a system built on using clean water and a lot of energy to process waste, and reimagining the possibilities for what we flush away.

Call it taking the "waste" out of human waste - a movement that includes transforming sewage sludge into fuel, heating buildings with it, using composting toilets to produce fertilizer. It all adds up to a major point: Change is on the horizon, even if that horizon seems far away.

Comment by Tom Butler on May 15, 2009 at 11:23pm
The algae industry can turn poop into treasure and the technology convergence is nearly upon us..with no time to waste. Peak Oil is here and Peak Phosphorus is also!

Feed from Indiana Living Green Magazine

Reface Don't Replace

Refacing is greener than replacing - ecocountertopsusa.com

Reface! Don't Replace!

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