Greenwood: Bus puts waste to good use
In England, they're calling it the "poo bus," and they don't mean Winnie the Pooh.
On Nov. 20, the first passengers boarded the Bath Bus Co.'s Bio-Bus, a 40-seat coach powered entirely by human and food waste. The company expects up to 10,000 passengers to utilize the bus in a month, which will run between Bath and the Bristol Airport.
The bus has a range of 186 miles on one tank of gas, which is produced from the equivalent of around five people's waste over a year.
OK, now try and get the image of 40 people "releasing the Kraken" on a bus out of your head because it doesn't work that way ... thank God.
The bus is propelled by methane, a byproduct of the microbial process that breaks down about 75 million cubic meters of human "ca-ca" and 35,000 metric tons of food waste from the area around Bristol each year.
The millions of cubic meters of gas are used to power engines that turn generators producing electricity, according to Drury.
"But now we're adding it to the national gas grid and for this bus," said Ian Drury, media and public relations manager for Wessex Water, the regional water and sewage system.
"I have ridden on the Bio-Bus and it's just like a normal bus, but it's far more sustainable because it doesn't rely on fossil fuels. It even sounds like a normal bus."
Local, national and international reaction to the bus has been incredible, Drury said.
"We always felt it would generate some interest, especially from the passengers using it," Drury said. "We've taken inquiries from Europe, Canada and America as well."
The bus also reportedly produces 30 percent less carbon dioxide than normal diesel-powered coaches and has a special filtering system that prevents aromas associated with outhouses from entering the atmosphere.
According to proponents, future fecal-powered vehicles will help improve overall air quality, plus there's the added satisfaction of knowing the fuel source is "locally produced."
And the idea of a bus that runs on No. 2 is spreading.
In September, two sewage treatment plants in Oslo, Norway, will begin to collect methane produced by citizens who "slippe noen bomber."
The gas will then be used to power 80 city buses.
And, in case you're wondering, all the buses will offer regular seats and not stools.
Fish Lake: In Holly Township, the road is closed between Mitchell and Kurtz due to a collapsed culvert. The detour is Mitchell to North Holly to Elliott and back to Fish Lake. It's unknown when repairs will be made.
14 Mile: The road is closed on the east side of Northwestern while the county reconstructs and realigns the east leg of the intersection as part of the 14 Mile/Orchard Lake/Northwestern project on the Farmington Hills/West Bloomfield Township border. This project should end in January.
Cedar Island Road: In White Lake Township, the road is closed from Oxbow Lake Road to Bogie Lake Road due to a collapsed culvert. It is unknown when the road will reopen.
24 Mile: In Shelby Township, the road is closed between Van Dyke and Fricke for installation of a water main. The reopening date is yet to be announced.
24 Mile: In Macomb Township, the road is closed between Hayes and Romeo Plank for the installation of a water main and repaving. The reopening has yet to be announced.
24 Mile: In Macomb Township, the pavement is being replaced between Springdale and Foss. This project will suspend for the winter starting Dec. 12.
Mound: In Sterling Heights, the road is being repaired from 18 Mile to 19 Mile. Traffic is being maintained. This project ends Monday.
26 Mile: The road is being repaved between Place and Rosell in Lenox Township, and between North Avenue and Omo Road in Ray Township. Traffic is being maintained but expect delays. This project ends later in the day Friday.
Wolcott Road: In Ray Township, the road is closed over the north branch of the Clinton River for removal and replacement of the bridge. This project ends Dec. 5.
Hayes: The road is being reconstructed from 21 Mile to 23 Mile on the border of Shelby and Macomb townships. This project ends in August 2015.