New York City's Wastewater Treatment System
How Biosolids Are Used
Biosolids are disposed of in landfill in PA, VA, and NY (Suffolk).
Biosolids are mixed with a bulking agent (for example — wood chips) which allows oxygen to mix with the biosolids more easily. The biosolids decompose, creating compost. This compost is similar to peat moss and is used as mulch or soil conditioner at golf courses, nurseries, home gardens, lawns, etc. New York City's biosolids are being composted at a facility in Pennsylvania.
Biosolids are mixed with a highly alkaline material, such as lime or Portland cement. This process results in a product, which resembles soil and is used as an agricultural liming agent. New York City's biolosids are alkaline stabilized at a facility in New Jersey.
All of these processes destroy disease-causing organisms and reduce moisture content, resulting in products that are easy to handle and have characteristics similar to many commercial agricultural products.