Wastewater recycling into biosolids using tree debris in Chicago

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) and the City of Chicago has reached on an intergovernmental agreement for the recycling of tree debris, which will be used as a bulking agent to compost biosolids made by wastewater processing.

Wood chips shaped from Chicago tree debris are mixed with the biosolids and then composted to form an organic material to be used as a fertilizer substitute, compost and soil amendment.

The material thus obtained will be used for preserving or forming turf grass in parks, athletic fields and public access areas in Cook County.

Department of Forestry produces a large supply of wood chips as part of their regular tree trimming and removal operations.

These chips will be provided to the MWRD’s biosolids program at the Calumet Solids Management Area. The first delivery will consist of around 100 yards of wood chips.

Over the next three years, Chicago will provide the MWRD with approx. 150,000 yards of wood chips.
Through this agreement, the city can effectively recycle wood chips for reuse in Chicago and the surrounding areas.