Roughly 140 billion pounds of sewage sludge are produced annually in the U.S. in an attempt to separate our human wastes from the waters we mix them with. This number has steadily increased over the last two decades as more stringent waste water treatment regulations have been put into effect. Standard methods for dealing with sludge have included incineration, ocean dumping, landfilling, land application on farms and composting.
In North America we’ve seen over the past ten or fifteen years significant and serious decline of certain forest species. The ones we’re most concerned about are high elevation red spruce and Fraser fir forests in the Appalachians. These forests comprise very unique mountaintop ecosystems on four, five and six thousand foot peaks. They’re quite rate in that they’re remnants from the last glaciation period: very beautiful, very unique. We’ve seen very rapid decline, dieback and death of these forests occur to a great extent in high elevations of the eastern Appalachians.