- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 1, 2016

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Sioux City expects to save hundreds of thousands of dollars by using biosolids from its wastewater treatment plant as fertilizer for farms.

The City Council approved a five-year land application agreement last week with BigAg Organic LLC to allow biosolids to be used as fertilizer on approved public and private land, according to the Sioux City Journal (https://bit.ly/2eR9z3y ).

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, biosolids are nutrient-rich solids left over from the city wastewater treatment process, and are frequently used for agricultural purposes. The biosolids have been deposited in a landfill for the past several years by a private contractor that hauls the city’s garbage and recycling.

City utilities director Mark Simms said applying the biosolids to farmland will conserve landfill space and benefit area farmers.

Officials said Sioux City could save about $2.7 million over five years using only BigAg-secured land.

Simms said the amount the city could save is dependent on the amount of biosolids generated each year.

BigAg Organic will work with local farmers to find acceptable land to apply the biosolids, and then the city will confirm that the land meets state and federal requirements before helping the contractor establish how many tons per acre for application. Farmers will have to pay a delivery and spreading fee, but won’t have to pay for the biosolids. According to Simms, the city will pay $14 per ton for application on city land and $10 per ton for application on city-approved farmland. The goal from the agreement is to decrease to $0 by year three of the deal for application on farmland.

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Information from: Sioux City Journal, https://www.siouxcityjournal.com

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