The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

December 31, 2012

Kansas City making money from sewer sludge


From The Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City government is being praised for its innovative approach to getting rid of the tons of sewer sludge produced every year.

The city uses the sludge to fertilize 1,340 acres it owns along the Missouri River near the Birmingham wastewater treatment plant. The crops grown using the sewer sludge are sold to make biofuel, meaning none of the crops are intended for human consumption.

The Kansas City Star reports the farm has made $2.1 million in net income for the city during the past six years.

Tenant farmers raised the crops until 2006, when the city took over the farming.

Tammy Zborel, of the National League of Cities, praised Kansas City’s approach. She says it’s not common for cities to become involved in that level of farming.