Engage a Community to Take Poo-Pride in Their Contribution to Climate Action

Frank Dick
City of Vancouver Public Works Department
What if clean energy came from the sewer? We are amid a profound shift in mindset around sewage. Municipal wastewater utilities across the United States and the world are transforming from waste disposal facilities to carbon and nutrient resource recovery centers. Learn how engaging individuals and communities can help shape understanding and pride in what goes down the drain come back as recoverable energy.

Session Description

Municipal wastewater utilities across the United States and throughout the world are taking a progressive approach to transform waste treatment facilities to carbon and nutrient resource recovery centers. This holistic approach contributes to local climate action goals and gives community members a way to participate in a clean energy future. Waste material is transformed into usable resources. Contributions from homes and food-related industries and businesses provide carbon-rich waste feedstocks. When connected to a municipal wastewater solids program, these feedstocks produce recoverable energy for communities

Sewer systems function similarly to the human gut. Nutrients enter the system and are digested. Energy is produced and waste is discharged. With the case of municipal wastewater utilities, nutrients are our waste, and even the waste produced in the process is a usable energy source. And like the human gut, making smart choices about what goes down is connected to the quality of energy produced. Just think, making small changes in what you buy to wash and cook with help keep our community’s gut functioning healthy and efficiently

Washington’s City of Vancouver is taking a forward-thinking approach in establishing a program for renewable resource recovery. In this talk, Frank will share lessons the City is learning along the way that can help other communities evaluate resource recovery programs that can provide tangible climate action.


About Your Speaker

During his 16 years he has implemented numerous energy efficiency projects resulting in nearly 20% reductions in electricity consumption at Vancouver’s wastewater treatment plants, which are the largest electrical consumers for the city’s operations.  Frank has also worked tirelessly with national and international colleagues and manufacturers to address consumer nonflushable wipes products which plague wastewater utilities worldwide by clogging and damaging essential equipment.

Frank earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Washington State University in Pullman and previously worked at semiconductor facilities in the Portland-Vancouver area. During his commute and free time, he enjoys moving his two legs, with endurance running, bicycling and kicking it in the swimming pool.

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