Remediation & Land Reclamation
The use of compost in reclaiming derelict soil areas (e.g. landfill closures, quarry and `brownfield’ reclamation), or those contaminated with a variety of chemical contaminants has gained in popularity.
Compost can improve the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of `dead’ soils (no carbon or nitrogen cycles). It is also used a biological method to degrade specific petroleum based contaminants, and can reduce the bioavailability of heavy metals.
Often, the use of compost in these applications is extremely economically viable, and allows for the treatment of soil on site (in-situ or ex-situ), instead of removing large volumes of soil, only to replace it with imported soils.
In addition, few consistent soil amendments are available for reclamation applications.
Compost Uses in Remediation Applications
- Manufactured top soil component
- Soil incorporate (upgrading marginal soils)
- Bioremediate contaminated soils (e.g. heavy metals, petroleum-based contaminants)
- Remediate organically `dead’ soil
- Turf establishment/renovation
- Agricultural crop establishment
- Flower bed establishment
- Tree/shrub backfill mix component
Features & Benefits in Remediation Applications
- Product versatility (many related uses)
- Replaces more expensive contaminated soil treatment methods, or soil removal and disposal
- Can re-establish organic matter; carbon and nitrogen cycles in the soil Inoculates soil with microbes
- Microbial activity can degrade various petroleum based contaminants
- Cation exchange capacity of compost helps soils retain nutrients and bind heavy metals
- Specific elements in compost help to reduce bioavailability of certain heavy metals
- Allows for faster plant establishment and growth, and extensive rooting (improves soil structure and supplies mycorrhizae)
- Can fix poor soils nutritionally and reduce/eliminate pre-plant fertilization
- Reduces the volume of soil that must be purchased and handled by up to two thirds.
- Can help reduce compaction in heavy (fine textured) soils, reduce compaction generally, bulk density