Recyc Systems, Inc
Recyc Systems, Inc. is a Virginia-based agricultural services company that provides alternative disposal of biosolids generated from the municipal wastewater treatment process. Its principle service is the facilitation of agricultural land application to reclaim the organic resources and minimize landfill disposal.
Our Agricultural Roots
Recyc Systems, Inc. is a local, Virginia owned and operated company with deep roots in agriculture and environmental preservation. Riding the wave of environmental consciousness that sprang up during the 1970s, the company was founded in 1983 by a group of Virginia agri-businessmen that caught a vision for the application of municipal biosolids to farmlands.
The company quickly distinguished itself as an innovator in this new technology, and developed a reputation for partnering with municipalities and farmers for the benefit of both. Unlike some of its larger competitors, Recyc Systems does not view itself as a waste management company. It continues to be a regional, family-owned business that makes the benefits of biosolids reuse available to farms in its own region.
“We live in the area which we serve,” says company Vice President Susan Trumbo, “so we go beyond every regulation to assure that our services truly benefit everyone in the community. We’re not an out-of-state operator who isn’t concerned about what’s happening in the local community. That’s what makes us different.”
Today Recyc System serves large and small municipalities throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. Through its tireless effort to connect wastewater treatment plants with farmers that can benefit from biosolids, the company keeps an average of 300,000 tons of biosolids out of the landfills.
The agricultural application of biosolids is a carefully regulated industry. Recyc Systems has been a part of it since its earliest years, and is respected and trusted by community leaders, state and federal regulators, and farmers.
The Way Nature Intended
Mankind is challenged at every turn by the need to dispose of its unwanted materials. How we dispose of them will have a dramatic effect on the planet we leave to our grandchildren. Sadly, much of what we use and throw away is not biodegradable.
Most people are familiar with community recycling programs that take materials like aluminum, glass and plastic out of the solid waste stream. But what about other waste? Where can it go safely? Fortunately, biosolids are completely biodegradable. The natural process of decomposition breaks down biosolids and returns the nutrients to the soil for plant uptake -- Nature’s perfect system of waste disposal.
Prior to the Clean Water Act of 1977, many municipalities discharged their sewage and sludge into rivers and streams. Today we know better, and federal law regulates how wastewater must be handled before the water can be returned to the watershed.
The good news about biosolids is that they are totally recyclable. Because they are organic, they can (and should) be returned to the earth as fertilizer for plants. There are many benefits to this practice:
- Keeps the waste out of landfills
- Provides natural fertilizer for agricultural use
- Reduces need for non-organic chemical fertilizers
- Lessens dangerous rain run-off from farm fields
It’s All In Your Mindset
For thousands of years people have used animal manures for organic fertilizer. We think nothing of that. In fact, with organic farming and gardening on the rise, the use of manure, compost and other organic fertilizer is increasing. This is good for the environment.
Scientifically, organic is organic. The same beneficial organic nutrients found in animal manure also are found in biosolids from wastewater treatment plants. They fertilize just as well, and are completely safe when handled correctly. That’s where Recyc Systems fits in. We are experts in the safe handling, transportation and application of biosolids to farm land.
Organic matter in biosolids improves soil quality by increasing water holding capacity and decreasing soil compaction. Field research has shown that biosolids nutrients work better than chemical fertilizers for plants, and increase crop yields. And there is considerably less risk of biosolids nutrient movement off the farm fields into streams than with chemical fertilizers.
What About Safety?
Years of study and research supports the safety and benefits of biosolids land application. In 1992 the EPA stated that, “...in all the years that properly treated biosolids have been applied to the land, we have been unable to find one documented case of illness or disease that resulted.”
In fact, the return of biosolids to the soil is safer than the use of non-organic chemical fertilizers. The use of biosolids improves soil quality, which reduces chemical movement off the field and into streams.
To insure the public’s safety and peace of mind, there are rigid laws governing the use of biosolids.
The Green In the Greenhouse Gas Issue
The latest benefit to be discovered from the return of biosolids to farmland has to do with global warming. Recent studies show that land application of biosolids produces less carbon dioxide emission than landfill disposal, composting or incinerating.
It Just Makes Good Sense
Many municipalities are mandated by law to promote “beneficial reuse” as an alternative to landfill overfilling. So the return of biosolids to the environment fits the municipal goal of recycling. And Mother Nature takes care of most of the processing, converting solids into safe, nutrient source by means of natural bacterial decomposition before it even leaves the wastewater treatment plant.
Farmers also benefit greatly from land application of biosolids. In exchange for the part they play in disposing of the biosolids, farmers get access to clean, natural fertilizer at no cost to them. This is economically beneficial to farmers, the backbone of our country’s food production system.