Biowaste: A Serious Health Concern

In Philadelphia, 200,000 tons of dried human waste could be the cause of numerous health problems for area residents, from asthma to cancer.

"Every year, 200,000 tons of dried human waste spends some amount of time sitting in mounds off I-95's Bartram Avenue exit, under the Platt Bridge. When you flush your toilet, the processed solids eventually end up here, minutes from the office of the Rev. Robert Johnson, an Eastwick community advocate.

For 27 years, Johnson has lived in this neighborhood sandwiched between the airport, the Sunoco refinery and the Water Department's sludge factory, called the Biosolids Recycling Center. Johnson's daughter and grandson have asthma, problems he assumes are exacerbated by the constant 'gastric' odors emanating from the nearby combination of poo and petroleum."

"Now, the Water Department has a plan to outsource biosolids processing -- a move that would eliminate the odors, save millions of dollars and turn the sludge into safe compost. But what the city isn't talking about is that most of the sludge it's been processing for years along the busiest interstate in the country is the same stuff that some parents in rural Pennsylvania blame for killing their children."

Full Story: Smelling Faults


Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $16.95 a month

Wear your city with style!

100% silk scarves feature detailed city maps. Choose from six cities with red or blue trim.

A Short History of America

From comic book artist Robert Crumb, poster shows how the built environment has changed throughout the decades.