The City's Solid Waste and Recycling department and the Water Pollution Control Authority collaborate to offer educational site tours to residents. Groups of up to 100 visitors can be accommodated at a time. From kindergarteners to seniors, program content can be modified to be age appropriate. The program can also be customized for small groups.
Each tour includes 3 activities:
- Recycling/Solid Waste and Stormwater Education
- Wastewater Treatment Process Overview
- Wastewater Treatment Plant Tour
Visitors are divided into 3 groups of approximately 30 visitors each. Each group begins with one of the above 3 activities. After about 45-50 minutes, the groups rotate so that every participant sees all aspects of the City’s recycling and wastewater treatment operations. Each tour lasts about 3 hours.
Recycling & Sanitation and Stormwater Education
The Recycling & Sanitation portion of this activity includes an age-appropriate tour of the transfer station and/or a truck demonstration of the new toter system. Dan Colleluori, Supervisor of Solid Waste and Recycling, and his team present the new single-stream recycling program, stressing the importance and financial benefit of recycling. The team introduces goals and incentives to increase school and public participation in the mandatory program.
Stormwater Education takes visitors through a brief video and discussion of the impact of pollution on receiving bodies of water. Dan Colleluori and his team explain how trash should be recycled and not discarded in the environment where it can adversely affect fish, wildlife, and water quality at beaches.
Wastewater Treatment Process Overview
Students view an animated graphic of the wastewater treatment process, including the collection system. Actual samples are presented for illustration. Live microscopic footage of the Activated Sludge Process is also included for educational examples.
The goal of this segment of the tour is for students to realize that:
- Wastewater treatment is a natural process with very few chemicals.
- Wastewater and stormwater are not combined, but separate.
- Stormwater pollution is something that only the actions of individuals can control.
Wastewater Treatment Plant Tour
Students view the wastewater process in operation while wearing hard hats for safety and protection. The tour proceeds through the actual flow of the plant and includes the Solid Processing Facility, stressing the importance of dewatering the solids and that Biosolids have beneficial uses.
To schedule a tour for your group, call Mary Lee Santoro at (203) 977-4592.