An article published by Ralf Otterpohl, Matthias Grottker, and Joerg Lange discusses how different types of bio waste can be managed differently to allow for purification and redistribution when it can be done. The article suggests that grey water can be purified and used again, rain and storm water can be collected, tested and purified, and various other methods set up to help the end of line waste systems which we take for granted so often to be reused in another form and redistributed to increase productivity. The articles goes on to say that artificial fertilizers in the agriculture business are now obsolete and that there is a possibility of turning black water into alternative fertilizer production for the agriculture industry.
This presents an interesting idea. Many people think of human grey water and black water as being the end of the line and solely a waste product which cannot be reused in another form. Incidentally, artificial fertilizers lack the true biodegradability of organic waste products, and so this could be a double opportunity for completing the cycle of waste and growth. In nature, many eco systems complete a full cycle, where the death of one organism or life form feeds another and those small transitions are part of a much larger macro eco system which is self sustaining all on its own. Humans find it incredibly difficult and advanced to form an artificial life cycle or eco system from our own resources, but the above quoted article may be part of at least implementing human innovation into the natural cyclic systems.
When it comes to sewage systems, again, it is most commonly thought to be a necessary storage of and removal of waste. However, if bio waste, organic material which can be returned to the earth and used for something productive, can be utilized efficiently, this would be a major step in reducing carbon emissions, facilitating sustainable plant growth, and alleviating the buildup of unnecessary storage and contamination. If a simple, effective system can be implemented in major cities worldwide where waste is offset by useful growth in the agriculture industry, this might correct several problems at one time.
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“ScienceDirect – Water Science and Technology: Sustainable water and waste management in urban areas.” ScienceDirect – Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2011. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S027312239700190X.