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Biosolids Recycling 101

Applications for Biosolids

Biosolids are the materials resulting from the treatment of sewage sludge. They are inherently rich in nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium and are comprised of stable organic compounds, all of which contribute to the value of biosolids as a viable and economical resource in a variety of applications.

Applications for Biosolids

Common Methods of Biosolids Reuse

Biosolids are currently being successfully reused for numerous purposes and new potential applications are being developed every day.

Agricultural Land Application

Agricultural land application is by far the most widely practiced method of beneficially reusing biosolids and has been in use for several decades. In this application, biosolids are evenly applied to crop ground at predetermined rates as an agricultural fertilizer.

Land Reclamation Applications

Certain areas, such as abandoned strip mines and gravel pits, are significantly stripped of the nutrients needed to support vegetative growth. In these areas, biosolids applications can act as a topsoil replacement and greatly enhance the soils ability to sustain plant growth.


Properly treated biosolids have been used in public landscaping, in parks, along highways, and on golf courses to provide fertilization and support healthy plants and grass.


Biosolids is commonly used as a component of compost along with other materials such as food and yard waste.

Retail Fertilizers

Biosolids that have been treated sufficiently and meet requirements for Exceptional Quality biosolids, such as those produced by the Burch BioWave® process, can be packaged and sold in retail settings, such as home improvement stores, as lawn and garden fertilizers.

Renewable Fuel Source

Dried biosolids, have a BTU value and can be co-combusted with coal as a renewable fuel source. Learn about the Burch BioWave® process for drying biosolids.

Deep Row Biosolids Applications

In this type of application, biosolids are place in deep trenches. Following placement, quick growing tree species such as hybrid poplar, are planted and harvested 6-9 years later.


Biosolids are used in reforestation projects to reestablish soil fertility and promote new forest growth.

Continuing to find new and improved uses for biosolids is essential to promoting sustainability in the environment and preventing the waste of a valuable natural resource.


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