LEE A. WOOD
Disposing of human waste is an extensive, and expensive, process. We can all do our part to make it simpler, and cheaper, by controlling how, and what, we dispose of in the disposal system.
The great comedian, `George Carlin', once did a skit on the word shit. He made light of the fact that no one likes the word but everyone uses it. Shit, aaah shit, oh shit, shit head, etc.
The dictionary defines shit as, well, actually mine doesn't list the word. And neither does my Thesaurus. Synonyms for the word would be; stool; poo; poop; feces; excrement; dung; manure, yes, manure. Let me get back to that word later.
A medical term for the word would be, `a voiding of the bowels'.
All animals do it. From insects to humans, each animal congests items that are made up of products the body doesn't need. Minerals and vitamins, proteins and enzymes, and other substances that the body does not use, and can not be stored for future use, are passed off as waste. In the case of humans the waste is collected in the bowels and voided as feces.
24/7 trucks load at the silos on Annacis Island.
We all think of it at the time we have to do it and while we are doing it. Most humans in a modern society perform the act of voiding while sitting on a toilet. When we are finished some of us turn and look to see if there is blood or other substances in our stool, signs that we should report to our doctor. Most of us simply push the handle.
Few of us ever think about what happens to our poop once we push the handle. Where does it go? What do we care? Why should we care?
I think about it because as a child I tried to hide the evidence of an uneaten apple by flushing the remains. This resulted in a visit from the plumber and a stern lecture from my father, "Nothing should go into the toilet that doesn't come from the human body, except toilet paper."
Notice I said toilet paper. Many people use newspaper, magazines or facial tissue. I have a friend who uses the toilet as a garborator, scrapping his plates, after a meal, into the toilet.
Why is this bad? Why should only toilet paper be allowed to accompany your excrement?
Because it is costing you, the taxpayer, millions of dollars every year to clean up everything you flush.
24/7 trucks load off the ground at James Plant in the Fraser Valley.
When we push the little handle or button, or pull the chain, the contents of the toilet go into a pipe that carries the waste, through the building you are in, to a larger pipe, in the street, that carries it to a waste treatment plant. The more crap that you put down the drain the larger those pipes have to be. Digging up old pipe and putting in larger pipes is only the start of the cost to you the taxpayer.
Not too many years ago, sewer pipes went directly from the toilet and sink to the ditch beside the street. As time went on the ditch became a pipe which ran into a creek or lake. Eventually humans realized that this was not an environmentally sound idea and sewage treatment plants were built. These plants were designed to handle shit and toilet paper.
Facial tissue and other paper is thicker than the plants were designed to handle. As people continue to pour photographic chemicals, chicken bones, and other garbage into the pipes the sewage treatment plants have grown to multi million dollar edifices.
But it doesn't stop there. What becomes of all this waste after it is treated. For environmental reasons we don't just pipe it into a river or the ocean which means it has to be stockpiled somewhere, unless we can find a use for it.
This waste is now environmentally friendly and so clean that one worker at the plant told me you could safely eat it. I replied, "Someone already did that."
All puns aside, if it is such a clean product why can't we do something with it? What are we to do with this pile of, clean, shit?
IN A FIELD
A truck, owned by Ra`n'De Trucking out of Prince George, leased to Arrow Transportation Services, unloads at a farm near Princeton. Only a five hour drive from Vancouver the still warm Nutrifor creates steam as it is exposed to the early morning air. The Nutrifor, after it is spread, will turn this barren landscape into a fertile field.
Remember, earlier, I mentioned manure? We, on our fields and in our gardens use manure to make things grow. We use horse manure, cow manure, and of course the ever popular, chicken manure. Why then does it make us squeamish to think of using human manure. After all it has been processed. When we use manure from cows or horses it hasn't been cleaned in any way.
Presently the GVRD (Greater Vancouver Regional District) is experimenting with spreading the waste, called Nutrifor, biosolids, on tailing piles at mine sites and on hillsides in the interior. Hopefully, in the future, they plan to mix it with loam and sell it as potting soil.
The huge truck loading silos hold 200 tons of pasteurized Nutrifor. To the right a large mound of top soil compacts the ground beneath. In the future the soil will be set aside and a large plant will be built. The plant will mix the soil with the Nutrifor to make potting soil.
The practical applications exist to dispose of, environmentally, this huge amount of shit that is piling up. Think about it. The average human voids approximately one pound of feces per day. In the lower Fraser Valley that is approximately five thousand tons of waste per week without calculating in all the other garbage that people pour down their drains. The problem is getting the public to accept the idea of using human manure for fertilizer. It's been cleaned, would you believe that it is actually pasteurized, and therefore more environmentally safer than manure from other animals.
I repeat, think about it. The next time you want to dispose of something down the toilet, before you pull the lever, where is that waste going? Is there some other way you can dispose of it. The cost of cleaning whatever you put in that sewer line is going to increase your taxes. And the cost of disposing of the cleaned waste is also going to hit you in the pocket book.
RELATED WEB SITES
Arrow Transportation Services.
Rosedale, B. C. Canada.
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