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If you heaped together raw sewage, household trash, and hazardous waste under the hot Washington sun, most people would see a stinky, poisonous pile of sludge. But D.C. resident Joseph Coleman has another vision: 276 megawatts of energy and 1,000 gallons of fresh, sparkling water per day. The miracle worker is Coleman’s proposed New Birth Power Plant, a sprawling jumble of photovoltaic arrays and solar panels he has designed to digest D.C.’s waste and excrete power and water. At Mayor Barry’s Ward 8 town meeting on March 13, Coleman pledged that such a plant would create between “one and 24,000 jobs” and that all District residents would profit from the facility. “The plant will be owned by the people, run by the people, for the people,” Coleman said. In keeping with the mayor’s new small-government platform, Coleman proposed that the city consolidate all its correctional, water, sewer, and trash services in the plant, an idea Barry seemed to take under advisement. While the mayor offered him no words of encouragement, Coleman says he has already made up hats and windbreakers to promote the project.CP