What smells in Chicago parks

Winnemac Park, Chicago

CHICAGO, IL (WFLA) – Visitors in Chicago parks started noticing weird smell in the grassy areas which seemed a little unusual to them. NBC Chicago got to the stinky bottom of the story.

Some visitors told NBC Chicago it smelled like mushrooms, others said it smelled like something chemically refined. The visitors were surprised to learn that what they smelled was the new fertilizer the city was using to keep the parks greener. That fertilizer had an ingredient that made some cringe – it was human waste.

“At first I had a reaction of like oh no don’t tell me that while i am lying on the ground,” Iggy Ladden, a visitor, told NBC Chicago.

Chicago’s Metropolitan Water Reclamation District creates that fertilizer called ‘biosolids’ out of the treated solids from municipal wastewater, according to NBC Chicago. It is used on farm fields, golf course and man other places, MWRD representative said. The biosolids make the grass much greener and healthier, and can actually be more cost-efficient in the long run, according to NBC Chicago.

Some visitors actually found it smart to use the waste in a productive way.

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