Michigan County Seeing Good Results in Using Septic Waste at Landfill

By Megan Greenwalt, Waste 360

Smiths Creek Landfill in St. Clair County, Mich., has been utilizing a unique approach to managing municipal solid waste (MSW) by using human fecal waste from residential septic tanks to eliminate waste and create energy, and hoping to change the way MSW is managed in the U.S.

Together with legislative, regulatory, and industry partners, in 2008 St. Clair County launched a full‐scale bioreactor landfill Research, Development, and Demonstration Project (RDDP).  Leveraging the environmental engineering expertise of the county’s consultant CTI and Associates Inc., the county launched the RDDP to become the first septage bioreactor landfill in the United States.

CTI and Associates Inc. based in Novi, Mich., determined that injecting septic waste into the landfill would significantly speed up the decomposition of the waste, allowing the landfill to remain in service for much longer.