Philadelphia Biosolids Recycling Center

Regulatory Challenges Lead to Budget- and Environment-Friendly Operations

The Biosolids Recycling Center (BRC), an arm of the City of Philadelphia Water Department, had an expired Title V air management operating permit and was at risk of regulatory enforcement. The BRC housed a dewatering complex and a compost operation that used some of the dewatered biosolids, with the balance transported offsite for disposal.

Regulatory Challenges Lead to Budget- and Environment-Friendly Operations

The Biosolids Recycling Center (BRC), an arm of the City of Philadelphia Water Department, had an expired Title V air management operating permit and was at risk of regulatory enforcement. The BRC housed a dewatering complex and a compost operation that used some of the dewatered biosolids, with the balance transported offsite for disposal.

The BRC challenges were solved when it joined Philadelphia Biosolids Services (PBS), a joint venture led by Synagro. PBS is one of the country’s preeminent providers of waste capture and conversion. The PBS mandate is to reduce odors, improve site aesthetics and produce, distribute and market a Class A EQ product in full compliance with applicable laws and regulations. All of that is achieved at a competitive cost.

Thermal Drying Improves Environmental Footprint

Synagro and PBS assumed interim operation of the BRC Dewatering Complex in October 2008. A state-of-the-art thermal drying facility was created to handle all city biosolids using Synagro’s industry-leading technology.

Synagro took a comprehensive approach that maximizes sustainability and minimizes costs. The PBS thermal drying facility minimizes the city’s environmental footprint.

Innovative Handling of Natural Waste Products

PBS helps the city of Philadelphia blaze a trail to serious technical and environmental innovation. Meaningful improvements include:

  • 100 percent of the city’s biosolids are converted into a “Class A” pathogen-free biosolids product that EPA classifies as a reduces reduce both the volume of storm water routed to the wastewater treatment plant and the potable water used by the thermal drying facility
  • Minimal off-site odors and noises
  • Greenhouse gas emissions are reduced
  • Air management regulations are met
  • Current operations reduced from 59 to 19 acres
  • Annual truck deliveries cut by 7,000 per year
  • 30 long-term jobs created
  • An estimated $200 million will be saved over the life of PBS’s 23-year contract with the city

Our Philadelphia Biosolids Recycling Center transforms 100% of city biosolids into a community friendly Class A product