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RE: Lawn Fertilizers and Milorganite

Kevin Walek wrote:
"I am curious as to the date of the data at the other site that Dan
Good point Kevin. I took the data to be up to date but have no proof. The
board of the Delaware Association of Composters is made up almost
exclusively of people who are involved in the production of expensive to
dispose of waste byproducts. One notable exception is one person who sells
these waste products mixed with other organic products to consumers. The
term used today to describe all organic waste is "biosolids". It is no
coincidence that this term gives no indication of the source of these
materials. If I were to sell composted leaves, grass clippings and wood
chips I would have to call them composted "biosolids" and meet the same
state mandated testing schedule for my end produce. Needless to say this
adds considerably to the cost of selling compost with "clean" origins. I run
a tree care business that produces 4 to 5 tons of wood chips per day as a
waste produce and this gores my ox.(and make me perhaps a not so unbiased

I don't mean to wage such a negative campaign against Milorganite. It's all
composted sewage sludge that I am leery of. After reading the information
Kevin forwarded from the city of Milwaukee, the producers of Milorganite, I
bet their standards are much more stringent than our local producers of
composted biosolids. The nursery industry is using these products by the
tractor trailer load and a town nearby sells this sludge for $5 per cubic
yard and loads it for you. That's pretty cheap for compost. I'm sure if they
could not sell it all they would pay $5 per yard for someone to haul it off.

As a side note the University of Delaware is researching bio engineered
phragmites (an introduced invasive 8 foot tall grassy weed in our area)
attempting to develop strains that could be grown in sewage sludge that
would accumulate high levels of metals. The phragmites would then be
harvested and possibly the metals could then be reclaimed.

I'm not trying to say using Milorganite is such a terrible thing to do. I
just believe there are much cleaner sources of materials for soil
improvement that don't have to be trucked half way across the country.
Still, I would not get a warm fuzzy feeling plunging my hands into the

Dan Nelson

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