Hornsby Bend Waste Utility Deserves Coverage

RECEIVED Mon., May 28, 2007

Dear Editor,
    Hi! Thanks for the various shades of green in last week's edition [Green Issue, May 25].
    I think y'all overlooked one of the most unique environmental facilities in Austin, Hornsby Bend waste utility. Central Texas has one of the most advanced biosolid plants in the nation, and so few people seem to know about it.
    The facility receives all of the city's waste sludge as well as tons of yard clippings every day and recycles every bit of it into fertilizer (the popular Dillo Dirt).
    On-site, there are three miles of great trails along the Colorado River. Massive ponds attract fantastic birds and serious birdwatchers from all over the country. And there is a surreal 5-acre greenhouse. What other city has a shit facility that is also an ecotourism attraction?
    It was mentioned in "Water Utility Flows Green" [News, May 25] that at the wastewater-treatment plants, methane is currently flared off (wasting an energy source and polluting the atmosphere). What about Hornsby, which is powered almost entirely by the gas from the sludge?
    It is a zero-emissions operation.
    There is a lot more going on out there, and I encourage you to visit and take the tour. I know what you are thinking … sounds stinky. Surprisingly, it's actually not at all.
Thank you,
Chris Argyros
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