Policy Statement

It shall be the policy of the Sierra Club, Hawaii Chapter, to seek an end to the disposal of toxic substances into sewage systems. Until that time, we oppose sewage sludge composting and the use of sewage sludge products as fertilizers and soil amendments.

Position Statements

1. Support education regarding pollution prevention and source reduction. A wide variety of unregulated organic synthetic compounds, pathogenic organisms, and other potentially hazardous substances enter Hawaii's sewage system through household and commercial sources.

2. Support actions which prevent the use of sewage sludge products in areas of high public exposure, particularly where children may be exposed, such as public parks and schools.

3. Support actions to require signage in public areas where sewage sludge products have been applied.

4. Support actions which prevent the use of sewage sludge products on food crops. The use of sewage sludge as an agricultural supplement is likely to have long term detrimental effects on soil health and agricultural sustainability.

5. Support legislation to require labeling of agricultural products that contain sewage sludge.

6. Support the source separated composting of clean "green waste" without contamination by sewage sludge.

7. Support exploration of alternative methods to safely and economically process or dispose of sewage sludge. Composting of sewage sludge does not address the presence of the many unregulated contaminants that may be present in sludge. Composting only reduces (but does not destroy) populations of pathogenic organisms, which may regrow after composted sludge is tested.

8. Support and explore new treatment processes being developed which significantly reduce or eliminate sludge production. The purpose of sewage treatment processes is to eliminate hazardous substances from the water, thereby concentrating them in the sludge.

9. Support national efforts to strengthen sewage sludge regulations. The federal regulations (40 CFR Part 503 ) governing the reuse of sewage sludge (a.k.a. "biosolids") are the weakest of any industrialized country, regulating only 9 heavy metals and either one of two pathogenic organisms, and have been strongly criticized by credible scientific sources within and outside of the Environmental Protection Agency as unprotective of public health, agriculture and the environment.

This Sewage Sludge Policy was approved by the Sierra Club Hawai`i Chapter Executive Committee at its quarterly meetings held November 14, 1999.


 Getting involved with the Sierra Club is as easy as 1, 2, 3!

Volunteers ready to race for clean water

The Sierra Club is the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots organization for a reason – our volunteers are an integral part of everything we do!

Here are some simple ways that you can become a part of this important work!

1. Sign up to Take Action and receive our Monthly E-Newsletter!

Online activism is a fast, easy and amazingly effective way for you to make a difference. And, our monthly e-newsletter is a great way to stay on top of the Sierra Club’s upcoming events, meetings, and other happenings.

2. Check out our Events Calendar!

Almost all of our events, meetings, and activities are open to the public, and certainly to new volunteers. Attending one of our regular meetings or events is a great way to meet other volunteer leaders and learn about ways to get involved in an issue or activity that interests you!

3. Fill out our Volunteer Form!

Whether you’re interested in attending a meeting, tabling at an event, analyzing policy, helping us fundraise, or lending your handy skills around the office, there’s a place for you! Fill out our volunteer form and tell us how you want to get involved!