An arm of the City of Philadelphia Water Department, the Biosolids Recycling Center (BRC) was in need of critical support. Consisting of a dewatering complex and a compost operation that utilized a portion of the dewatered biosolids (with the balance transported offsite for disposal), the BRC had an expired Title V air management operating permit and was at risk of regulatory enforcement.
Enter Philadelphia Biosolids Services (PBS), a joint venture led by Synagro - one of the country’s preeminent providers of waste capture and conversion. Facing a host of difficult challenges, the PBS mandate was clear: reduce odors; improve site aesthetics; and produce, distribute and market Class A EQ product in full compliance with applicable laws and regulations and at a competitive cost.
Charged with fully managing all city-dewatered biosolids, Synagro and PBS assumed interim operation of the BRC Dewatering Complex in October 2008.
Our focus: to build a state-of-the-art thermal drying facility that leverages Synagro’s industry-leading technology.
Our strategy: to provide dewatering and beneficial use management of Philadelphia’s dewatered biosolids via land application, mine remediation and other beneficial use options while construction is underway.
It’s a comprehensive approach that has yielded immediate results, maximizing sustainability while streamlining costs. And the long-term picture is equally bright: Expected to reach commercial operation in early 2012, the new thermal drying facility will transform the city’s environmental footprint and offer tangible benefits both locally and beyond.
Powered by Synagro - which has successfully operated thermal drying systems since 1991 - PBS is helping the city of Philadelphia blaze a trail to serious technical and environmental innovation. Its signature emphasis on smart, effective, targeted solutions provides a full spectrum of meaningful improvements, including:
- Managing 100 percent of the city’s biosolids into a “Class A” pathogen-free biosolids product that EPA classifies as a fertilizer
- Incorporating a cutting-edge rainwater collection system to reduce both the volume of storm water routed to the wastewater treatment plant and the potable water used by the thermal drying facility
- Minimizing off-site odors and noises
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and ensuring compliance with air management regulations
- Shrinking current operations from 59 to 19 acres, allowing the city to recapture property for other productive uses
- Cutting annual truck deliveries by 7,000 per year
- Creating 75 construction positions and 30 long-term jobs
- Saving an estimated $200 million over the life of PBS’s 23-year contract with the city