Speaking Up Against Spreading Sewage

A Colorado Woman Fights The National Biosolids Problem in Boulder

Boulder, Colorado, is a beautiful place known for its epic Flatirons mountains, fresh air, farmers’ markets, and laid-back lifestyle. It’s even been named the Happiest City in the U.S. and boasts 300-plus days of sunshine a year.

And yet, a proposed composting facility could bring the same sludge that’s plaguing many other communities throughout the country (see our story about Maine, a community that’s still fighting).

Last month, Nancy Davis presented at a National Sierra Club webinar on commercial compost about plans for an industrial composting facility to be built in Boulder County on Open Space land.

You can watch her presentation below (at 32:16) or watch the whole panel:

As you’ll learn in Nancy’s talk, she and her family live in Boulder County, Colorado, on a 56-acre horse farm. In August 2020 her family and a few neighbors received notice that the county was planning to build a composting facility at the former Rainbow Nursery (currently named Rainbow Open Space), which was under a restrictive conservation easement.

The project was part of a county goal to work toward a Zero Waste Action Plan but the neighbors had concerns. Nancy learned that proposed facility would be a class III, meaning it could accept biosolids to compost.

Readers of this newsletter know that the term “biosolids.” It’s a fancy way of saying “sewage sludge.” It’s typically the by-product of local wastewater treatment plants and tends to contain PFAS and other toxic chemicals. Remember, PFAS is everywhere and a particularly persistent group of chemicals. (Read this article to learn more and take action.) Alarming levels of PFAS have been found in home fertilizers sold at large retail chains.

Thanks to Nancy for speaking out about this problem! We need all environmental groups and city and county officials to understand that while composting is great, composting sludge is NOT good for anyone.

Learn more about biosolids in this article. Learn more about Nancy’s work at Reclaiming Boulder County.

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