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Degaardt, Susanna (2004) Humanurin till åkermark och grönytor. Other thesis, SLU.

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Abstract

This study investigates how nutrients from source-separated human urine from Gothenburg properties can be used as fertiliser in agriculture or for parks or sports fields. The initiator is the Department of Sustainable Water and Waste Management at the City of Gothenburg. Today urine-diverting systems are installed in two apartment buildings and two public-use buildings. Urine recycling is expected to lead to less exploitation of natural resources and less eutrophicating discharges into water recipients. In the study the urine's market potential is investigated, for which practical handling issues, business aspects and acceptance of customers, employees and visitors have proved to be important. The study also sheds light on prerequisites for a good recycling system from the perspective of experiences from Gothenburg and similar recycling in other places, the stakeholders' points of view, as well as legal and financial frameworks and tools. A qualitative approach was used in which data collection was largely based on interviews with potential urine users, stakeholders and experts, as well as pertinent literature. The results show that it should be possible to find a market for the urine among farmers around Gothenburg, even if the prospects are not as good as in regions with more grain production. An accurate utilisation of the urine, in terms of storage, spreading and the appropriate crops, is crucial for reaching the objective of the system. Local farmers often lack suitable equipment that, however, often can be leased. The spreading of urine is less flexible in time and more expensive than the spreading of mineral fertilisers. Free provision of the sanitised urine will in many cases likely cover additional spreading costs. However, the municipality may have to finance storage and compensate the farmer for additional spreading costs or financial risk taking. Sanctions from purchasers within the food and feed industries can reduce or eliminate income from crops grown on fields fertilized with urine. Quality-control measures at the retrieval system in Gothenburg may, however, clear the way for leading purchasers' approval of usage on feed grain, and on food crops with a qualifying period of one year. Such an approval is of great importance for the market potential. There is a large need for fertilisers on golf courses and football fields; in parks the need is lower. Often there are no obvious solutions regarding spreading technique, although such could in most cases be found or developed. Small areas in parks can be spread manually. Questions concerning acceptance, smell and hygienic risks for employees and users remain. Heavy use of the areas increases the requirements in these aspects. Small-scale experiments in parks can give valuable experience and increase public awareness of the system's purpose. The park employees asked were sceptical, although some were open to discuss experimental spreading, provided that compensation for additional costs as well as the health of employees and visitors are guaranteed. When the city launches the urine-recycling system, past experiences should be considered, control instruments be used and resources allocated. A review of the existing infrastructure for the recycling shows a need for improvements of technical and communicative nature. Quality-control measures regarding the urine as fertiliser and the system are, besides a demand by farmers and their customers, a tool for the city to realize a higher environmental profile. These measures must be developed in concert with all stakeholders, thereafter coordinated throughout the whole chain. A careful work plan must be prepared to ensure a good follow-up.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Keywords: humanurin, källsortering, kretslopp, näringsämnen, åkermark, golfbanor, parker, kommunal planering
Subject (faculty): Faculty of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences
Divisions: SLU > Faculty of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences
Depositing User: Susanna Degaardt
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2005
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2015 09:31
URI: http://ex-epsilon.slu.se/id/eprint/276

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