The real urban recycling process begins with our own daily wastes – and the application of technologies promises

Free Association Design

[Map of Aquatic Dead Zones and human population density (altered), courtesy of NASA Earth Observatory]

The irony of peak phosphorous is that while there is a perceived shortage, there is an excess amount of phosphorous found throughout the human-influenced environment, exactly where we don’t want it and which we mostly don’t know what to do with.  This excess phosphorous finds its way inadvertently or deliberately into streams, rivers and bays, where it has a transformative and largely detrimental effect.  Large ‘dead zones’, such the one found in the gulf of Mexico where the midwest’s industrial agriculture experiments are aggregated and expressed, speaks to the fact that peak phosphorus is in many ways more of a recollection, redistribution and reformatting design problem, rather than a true shortage challenge.

One of the biggest sources of phosphorous is rather intimate and close to home: our own bodily waste streams and their aggregation in waste…

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One thought on “

  1. Moss Turner says:

    Hi Donovan. I don’t think that it is too far fetched to imagine a time in the not-too-distant future when businesses will run the city’s sewage works as a going concern, mining nutrients from the city’s waste stream for resale.

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