My clock radio is set to WMUK, the public radio station owned and operated by Western Michigan University. That being the case, I awoke this morning to National Public Radio’s Morning Edition and heard what I found to be a fascinating report regarding Brainerd, Minnesota and efforts there to utilize ‘sewer power’. As noted in the NPR summary about the piece, “Officials in Brainerd, Minn., say the sewers below the city streets are a huge potential source of energy that could be used for heating and cooling. A local company has devised a system to capture the energy, and city officials plan to hook up the police station by the end of the year.”
The report brought to mind a book by William McDonough & Michael Braungart entitled Cradle to Cradle in which they talk about “remaking the way we make things.” Central to their thinking is the idea that “waste equals food” and their contention that “products can be designed from the outset so that, after their useful lives, they will provide nourishment for something new.”
McDonough is an architect and I’ve had the good fortune to hear him speak. As a result, I have an autographed copy of Cradle to Cradle. I recommend it AND the NPR story that began my day – something you can check out by clicking on the following link: Waste Not, Want Not: Town To Tap Sewers For Energy.
River Country Journal