Nearly all we have came from the land and must eventually go back. Nearly all municipal wastes, including sewage, will make good compost and good compost can be used to reclaim the desert and make arid land productive. “Nearly all” does, of course, mean some exceptions such as lead or Cadmium-based batteries. However, many hydrocarbons and plastics are bio-degradable provided the right process and the right bugs are available in the bio-population or can be added. (Mealy bug larvae will live and multiply quite happily on expanded polystyrene.) Sewage is a great source of nutrients and micro-organisms for a successful bio-process. Of course, testing and controls are a necessary part of a professional operation but it really is true that most urban waste scan safely be used to make enough fertiliser to feed the people who made the wastes in the first place. That is sustainability. The challenge is to get the instruments of governments to understand and find a way of constructive regulation. Soon rather than somewhen.
Oh, and by the way, composts will absorb and hold between 5 and 16 times their own weight of water. That might be useful in creating jobs in upland composting in Cumbria, Lancashire, and anywhere in the upland catchment areas for any of our rivers running through urban areas, including London.
“Survival – Sustainable Energy, Wastes, Shale Gas and The Land” by Bill Butterworth, published by Land Research, has just been released and is available in paperback from good bookshops or Amazon on the web as paperback (at around £10) or electronic version (at only £2.46) for computer or Kindle.