MWRA 2006-2007 Writing Contest Winners

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Honorable Mention Winner, Grades 9-12
Kaitlyn Galvin, Grade 10, Archbishop Williams High School, Braintree

Bay State Fertilizer: Nothing Goes to "Waste"

Driving by landfills or dumps, it is easy to forget that there could be other uses for what they contain. The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) has found a clever way to use "sludge" or solids, taken from the wastewater of 43 Massachusetts towns, and make it into fertilizer. With Bay State Fertilizer, nothing goes to "waste".

When applying some fertilizers, their nitrogen content is released too quickly. The plants aren't able to absorb all that is released and the nutrients go to waste. When the excess nitrogen gets into groundwater, it poses a threat to the environment. When applying Bay State Fertilizer, only a limited amount of nitrogen is released during the first growing season (about 30%). The rest is released during the following growing season. This benefits both the plants and the environment. The plants receive all the nutrients they need and the environment is not polluted with extra nitrogen.

The production of Bay State Fertilizer by recycling sludge is also cheaper than just disposing of the sludge in a landfill, not to mention the obvious environmental advantages. Since Bay State Fertilizer releases nutrients slowly and lasts for multiple seasons, the consumer doesn't have to buy as much fertilizer so money is saved and not wasted.

Water is also saved because, by using this fertilizer, plants don't require as much water. A good marketing campaign for Bay State Fertilizer will advertise both the environmental and economical benefits of this product.

I believe a good medium to advertise Bay State Fertilizer will be billboards on the expressway going into Boston, or newspaper articles. I chose billboards going into Boston because the islands containing the facilities that recycle the waste are visible from Boston. I chose newspaper articles because local people read the newspaper and will want to know about what is going on in their area.

Television commercials wouldn't attract the attention of viewers because the commercial wouldn't air enough to become memorable.

On the other hand, locals drive into the city and read the newspaper daily so they will remember the ad. Using the slogan- "Bay State Fertilizer, nothing goes to 'waste' "- allows one to explore all of the good things that using this product has to offer.

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