Tell San Francisco to Stop Spreading Sewage Sludge and Calling It “Organic Fertilizer”


Thank you to everyone who sent an e-mail to San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom asking him to stop San Francisco’s sewage sludge giveaway program. His office has been flooded with thousands of e-mails, but the city’s not talking to us yet. We need to step up the pressure. This week, we’d like to ask you to make calls to Mayor Newsom’s office.

In 2008, Organic Style Magazine called San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom the World’s Greenest Mayor. Apparently, Organic Style wasn’t aware that the "World’s Greenest Mayor" is, in the guise of giving something valuable to its own citizens, giving toxic sewage sludge to city gardeners touting it as "organic biosolids compost."

San Francisco – like many other cities in the country – contracts with a sewage sludge company (Synagro) to "transport and dispose of" its sludge. Since dumping sludge in the oceans was stopped in 1991, dumping sludge on farmland (this is called "land application") became the cheapest way to dispose of sludge.

The thing that distinguishes San Francisco from other cities dumping sludge on farmland is that it has launched an aggressive PR offensive targeting its own citizens to get them to help dispose of toxic sludge in their own gardens.

This campaign involves falsely labeling the sewage sludge as "organic biosolids compost" and holding well-publicized free giveaways of sludge-in-disguise to gardeners who then unwittingly turn their own gardens into hazardous materials dumps.

If the World’s Greenest Mayor can get away with this, watch out, because there’s no telling what the toxic sludge industry will do in your town!

That’s why we’re putting out a national call to all of our members and readers to encourage organic consumers across the country to help us stop San Francisco’s toxic sewage sludge giveaways. Please take action today!