Today marks 46 years of Earth Day. Cities across the U.S. are making efforts to limit how much waste is put in landfills. Right here in Fort Wayne, a facility does just that – turning waste into materials that everyone can use.
The Fort Wayne Biosolids Facility, located at 6202 Lake Ave on the City’s east side, takes treated wastewater from homes, factories, and storm runoff and turns it into biosolids. Sludge from Fort Wayne’s wastewater treatment plant is pumped to lagoons at the 400 acre facility. After treatment and drying over time, what remains is lime and compost. The facility produces 30,000 tons of top-grade biosolids that are good enough to be used in gardens and yards. All biosolids are rigorously tested to meet EPA standards. Benefits to using biosolids include improving timber growth, preventing soil erosion, higher crop yields, and greater savings.
In addition to treating wastewater from the City’s water treatment plant, this facility also handles yard waste, like grass clippings, leaves, and wood from trees to make compost and mulch. According to the City, by composting the leaves collected during leaf pickup, this facility saves 12,000 tons of waste in landfills.
The biosolids and mulch are available for free to Fort Wayne residents if you pick up and load the material yourself. Staff will load it for you (if you’d like to get a truckload) for a small fee. Businesses and farmers can also purchase product in bulk. If you have grass clippings, leaves, tree branches, or other yard waste that you’d like to drop off, there’s just a small fee – $1 covers up to 260 lbs. That fee is prorated to $17.00 for a ton. According to Frank Suarez, Director of City Utilities and Public Works:
Anytime you can reduce what goes into the landfill, that’s always a good thing. And especially on Earth Day, we think about those things. But we’re thinking about it 365 days a year.
The Fort Wayne Biosolids Facility is open from 8am to 6pm Monday-Saturday and 12pm to 6pm on Sundays. For additional info, call (260) 749-8040.