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Using Recycled Waste To Reclaim Land

The U.S. Army often uses large amounts of land to prepare and train its troops to protect U.S. citizens. Extensive wear on the land results in lack of sufficient topsoil, organic matter, and nutrients—making it unsuitable for revegetation.

ARS scientists developed a new garbage-processing technology that reduces the municipal solid waste disposal in landfills and generates a co-product that can be used to reclaim damaged soils. This technology sterilizes and separates municipal solid waste into metal and plastic recyclables and turns it into an organic material called Fluff®, which can be land applied to improve soil conditions.

ARS field studies conducted at Fort Campbell, KY, and Fort Benning, GA, showed improved results when native grass was established in damaged areas. Fluff® reduced soil compaction and increased soil carbon and nitrogen.

Related Information

Publication: Non-composted Municipal Solid Waste Processing Byproduct Effect on Soil Reclamation
Publication: Effects of a New Waste-Processing By-product on Soil and Vegetation at Fort Campbell, Tennessee