By Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The British came to Philadelphia this past week, as part of the international police chiefs convention in Center City. A UK-based exhibitor wants to help cops here use illegal drugs for good.

“The beauty of this is it’s totally benign and safe,” said Alan Shaw with Locards Explosive and Forensic Solutions.

Shaw says their Advanced Organic Waste Digester can turn things like cocaine and opiates into biomass fuel.

“It can be pelleted and used as log burning fuel in stoves, or it can be used to power the police station,” he said, “so it’s waste for energy.”

After drugs are seized and processed into evidence, they’re chucked into this machine.

“They go through a multi-bladed shredder, and then it will go into the main chamber,” Shaw explained. “The bacteria are then added.”

The bacteria feast on the drugs and its packaging. After 24 hours all that’s left is a nontoxic byproduct that can even be used as a soil additive.

“It assures the reduction of the carbon footprint from the technology in use now — high-temperature incineration,” Shaw said.

Shaw says it’s being used by several British police forces and the UK government.

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