Cari Jorgensen
November 4, 2015

Washington DC is Making Electricity, Soil out of Human Waste (

Associated Press/YouTube

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Who knew that just by conducting the simple act of flushing your toilet after each use would wind up helping a city power itself? Every flush residents of Washington, DC make takes the sewage to the city’s Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant. The plant recently installed a system that utilizes that waste and turns it into electricity and soil.

George Hawkins, CEO of DC Water, told the Associated Press in the video below, “It’s poop to power right here … It is super clean compared to the alternatives and it reduces our carbon footprint. We have the largest single carbon footprint in Washington, D.C.”

The system is space-saving, is the first of its kind in North America and “reduces the amount of bio solids that are hauled to a landfill after treatment.”

Take a look at the process:

As seen in the video, the process leads to the generating of about one-third of DC Water’s power and it’s “expected to reduce total costs by about $22 million a year.” That means lower water bills for residents of Washington. And, if that weren’t enough, the process also produces garden soil, which the company hopes to sell for a profit.

Other cities, such as San Francisco, are looking to follow suit. Do you think this system should be in place in every city?


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