Some may have noticed an unusual sight on campus at OSU this July and it, indeed, was knee-high by the forth of July. If you aren’t familiar with this colloquialism it is about corn.
A small crop of corn is growing on campus aided by soil with Com-Til; this is a compost material that uses residual biosolids from Columbus’ wastewater plants.
While it sounds a little gross, the Com-Til project is part of a long history of human’s using their own waste as an agricultural resource and is exploring what that might look like in the future. Com-Til is used all over the city to grow a variety of plants.
This is just one example of how biosolids (a nice, clean term for stuff most of us would rather not ponder) can become a resource for crop production, which in an era of rapidly increasing population and rapidly decreasing resources is a concern.
The project aims to understand what the problems and benefits of using biosolids for crop production. The project is collecting all kinds of data including the perspective of professionals and farmers in using biosolids. This will aid in one of the main goals, changing public perception of the use of such waster materials.