Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Front Porch Punditry

Front Porch Punditry

While writing " It's My Town, Too " I developed thoughts about some of the necessary changes needed in order to turn Pottstown around and allow her to become grand again. Most needed changes are huge and beyond our easy reach; such as, stemming the decline in property values, ridding the use of property taxes to fund our schools, attracting industry here which offers many good paying jobs, and changing back to owner occupied houses rather than ones of landlord/tenant, to list a few. These changes are big and obvious and all of us must press government to continue working on them to bring them about. 

Not obvious, beyond the radar, are changes which could improve life here in Pottstown that I would classify as "out of the box" thinking. One thing sorely needed in town is a composting facility sufficient in size to accommodate the composting of not only yard waste but also our sewage sludge. Our sludge is generated by the three Pottsgrove's as well as the Borough of Pottstown. Yard waste would be expected to be received from the four adjoining municipalities and accepted from other other areas and from private contractors. Residential yard waste is defined as leaves, grass, shrubbery clippings, tree trimmings, and Christmas trees. 

Large in volume this waste provides bulk that will become decayed by adding sewage sludge as an accelerator for decaying which results in a compost for universal use. Compost is Nature's life force that puts the elements required for plant growth back into the soil. A good quality compost, which may be used on urban gardens and lawns, as well as, utilized in bulk by farmers for their field crops, is the desired result.

I can hear the grumblings now, more toys to spend our taxes on so some tree huggers can play games with gardens. 

Not so ! Composting is an economic development tool which when used to compost sewage sludge will save sewer customers- Pottstown and the three POttsgroves- over a million dollars a year. Processing sewage is an expensive operation and getting rid of the end product, sludge either wet or dried, is where costs could be really be saved benefiting all of us. A by product of this operation would be the benefit of having a place to take lawn wastes and other tree trimmings most properties accumulate. This operation would be self sufficient by paying for itself either through cost savings or by tipping fees.

The next question to be answered is where should it be placed ? If you have an opinion about - if or when or where - let me know.

Ronald C. Downie

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