Rockford, Illinois

Post 64 in a series. When Green Turns Brown is an examination of a small town’s digester-energy project, in which Whitewater, Wisconsin would import other cities’ waste, claiming that the result would be both profitable and green.

Today’s questions begin with Number 296. All the questions in this series may be found in the Question Bin.

Rockford, Illinois is a city with a population of about 151,290, that’s part of a regional wastewater district with over 1,100 miles of buried sewers.

Whitewater is a city with a population of about 14,801, with a local wastewater department with about 52 miles of sewer lines (@ 2:00 on the video).

Two years, twelve days after Whitewater’s wastewater superintendent first mentioned waste importation publicly, after the city held dozens of public (or closed) meetings, with more than one consulting firm, as part of a larger project costing over twenty-million dollars, and well over a million more in consultants’ fees, that same wastewater superintendent held out Rockford, Illinois as an example for Whitewater:

“Geographically, I can speak, Rockford is doing something like this….”

296.  Considering that Rockford alone is 10.22 times the size of Whitewater, with a wastewater district size (by extent of lines) 21.15 times as great, why would Rockford be a suitable comparison for Whitewater?

297. Wouldn’t a commitment to diligence have meant at least asking this as a follow-up question?