Blog : Stop Wasting Waste

By Ken | Feb 6, 2015 | in

Josh Denton is a guest blogger who is very active in environmental activism in Portsmouth as well as a member of the Green Alliance. Join Josh as a member of the Green Alliance, right now the winter snow special reduces the price of individual membership to $25, but act fast the discount only lasts until the end of the day Friday February 6, 2015. Click here to join!

My dogs get off-leash exercise at Pierce Island almost daily. The only thing out of place between our working port's ships, the South End's picturesque view, and Fort Washington's historic remains is our wasted bi-product being trucked off the island to a Rochester landfill.

Portsmouth is considering investing $80 million in a new Pierce Island wastewater treatment plant because our effluent is currently only treated at the most basic level. Expanding the existing city-owned plant at Pease into a regional facility would be more cost-effective due to ratepayer cost-sharing and available space to incorporate an anaerobic digester.

Anaerobic digesters pay for themselves by microorganisms converting waste bi-product into a sustainable energy source that powers the plant by breaking down biodegradable material into biogas. A Pease anaerobic digester could even convert stored curbside compost into sustainable fuel. Anaerobic digestion should be included in Portsmouth’s largest capital project ever.

Two other unrelated proposals presented by the Blue Ribbon Committee on Sustainable Practices last November are gaining momentum on the Seacoast. On January 31, Rye's Deliberative Session discussed a Pay As You Throw warrant article for a fairer solid waste disposal program to save taxpayers that reuse, recycle, and compost money. Meanwhile, the well-drafted, legally-sound ordinance banning single-use, carry-out, plastic bags that the South Church's Green Sanctuary has been assisting gather signatures of support for was presented at February second's City Council meeting, with a request for a subsequent meeting first reading.