Civil service urine used to make the grass grow greener

The urine of the 600 civil servants who work at Drenthe provincial council’s office in Assen is being turned into fertiliser for lawns as part of official policy to go green.

The council’s sanitary provisions were upgraded in 2011 and all urine from council workers and visitors is now collected and stored separately in special tanks.

The water board has been experimenting with new techniques to extract struvite, a phosphate mineral, from the urine. The phosphate can then be used in agriculture. The first packets of urine fertiliser were handed over to officials by the Hunze en Aa waterboard on Friday.

‘It is great garden fertilizer. The grass goes green thanks to civil servants urine,’ the province said in a press release.

The province says it sees its role as tackling environmental, climate and energy issues and developing and exchanging expertise.

Officials are now looking into whether the fertiliser could also be used on golf courses and football pitches. However, there will need to be a change in national legislation before the new product can be brought to the market, a spokesman told local broadcaster RTL Drenthe.

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