Association Honors Kingston Plant for Beneficial Use of Biosolids

The city of Kingston received the Beneficial Use of Biosolids Award for 2008 at the 81st Annual Meeting of the New York Water Environment Association, according to a Feb. 5 press release.

The association is the principal organization for professionals working in the water quality industry in New York state. The award recognizes significant contributions in the development and implementation of cost-effective, environmentally safe, and publicly acceptable biosolids beneficial use practices that recycle nutrients, improve soil conditions, or otherwise conserve valuable natural resources.

Kingston Mayor James Sottile, James Reffelt of Aslan Environmental Services, Inc., and George Cacchio of CAMO Pollution Control, who runs the Kingston, N.Y., water treatment plant that converts dried sewage sludge into fertilizer pellets, accepted the award.

“This is the first plant of its size in the world,” Cacchio said. “It has been operating 24/7 since April 2007, with only five days of down time. To date, Kingston taxpayers have saved approximately $100,000 and eliminated more than 4,500 tons of sludge in landfills as a result of implementing this system.”

This is the second time this plant has been singled out for excellence in its field. Last year, Aslan Environmental Services Inc., headquartered in Fishkill, N.Y., received the New York State 2008 Environmental Excellence Award for its successful adaptation of the sewage sludge drying and pelletizing technology used in the Kingston plant. Previously, the technology was available only for very large-scale applications. AES is the only company in North America licensed to handle this design.

“This is a mature product based on proven technology that requires no upfront capital expenditures, is effortless on the part of the municipality to implement, saves money and is completely green,” according to Mayor James Sottile of Kingston.

“This system is very attractive to communities,” said James Reffelt, AES vice president of business development. “We take a problem disposal material and turn it into a useful product, in an economical and environmentally sound manner – no risk to the community.”

Touted to be environmentally friendly, the system is said to reduce landfill loading, remove air emissions, and decrease related transportation costs. In some cases, as in Kingston, the waste methane gas available at the plant is used to run the drying process, and any excess is redirected to a generator to produce electricity, thereby creating additional savings.