Oct. 14 - An Israeli company that specializes in mining sewage for recyclable materials, wants to take its technology overseas. Applied CleanTech says its technology recycles everything that's useful from sewage, while simultaneously reducing the amount of sludge left behind. Tara Cleary has more.
Raw sewage. It may be nothing but waste to most people, but to Israeli firm Applied CleanTech, it's like gold. The company has developed a system that picks out and recycles fibers from raw urban and industrial wastewater. CEO Rafael Aharon says sewage is a valuable resource. SOUNDBITE: REFAEL AHARON, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF APPLIED CLEANTECH, SAYING (English): "We mine the goods from the sewage before they're turned to use in sludge. And we extract them, and we fully recycle them until they're ready for sale, and ready for use in the industry." The materials extracted are made of cellulose fibers, found in items like baby wipes, paper or fruit and vegetables. And once processed, the result is either these small pellets - which are packaged and sold as an alternative fuel or for insulation - or an element of recycled paper products. Once all those solids have been sifted out of the wastewater, there is far less residual sludge for local authorities to deal with. SOUNDBITE: REFAEL AHARON, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF APPLIED CLEANTECH, SAYING (English): "The wastewater treatment plant can save a lot of money on energy, on chemical use, and of course on sludge disposal and sludge treatment handling, and also, can increase its capacity due to the decrease in the incoming load." That saving can be as much as 30 percent of operational costs, according to Aharon. A handful of cities, in Israel and abroad, have ordered the system and the company says it expects about 10 more orders for 2014.