Published: Jun 04, 2010 11:31 PM EDT
Updated: Jun 04, 2010 8:31 PM EDT

HENDRY/LEE COUNTY LANDFILL- It's your money and Lee County is using it to make compost from human waste.
    
The county is selling it and says it's perfectly safe.
Lee County solid waste operations manager Jason Fournier doesn't think twice about getting his hands dirty, even when it comes to human waste.

Fournier says, "It's basically like potting soil, there's no odor, it smells good, it smells like dirt,
This material has already been broken down, it's already gone through the pathogen reduction limits."

First the treated sewage is brought here to the Lee Hendry landfill from Fort Myers and Lee county utilities.
It's combined with yard mulch that comes from resident's homes. A giant machine mixes the compost, which because of the bacteria, naturally heats up.

Deputy Director for the Lee County Solid Waste Division Keith Howard says, "The material cooks up to over a 131 degrees, in a couple of days, and we have to hold that temperature to a minimum of 15 days."

After all the harmful bacteria cooks off, the compost is shipped to the Lee County Solid Waste Division Facility where starting this week, they're selling it for 20 dollars a cubic yard.

Fournier says, you can tell by the color difference when used on grass, it works.

"What we see is, this grass is a lot healthier darker, richer green."

The 3 year project, came about as an alternative solution to expanding the landfill, or building an expensive sewage treatment plant.

  The facility that makes the compost cost about 3.5 million dollars to build, but solid waste workers say eventually, compost sales will pay for it.