Soil-less Soil

LAB: BUILD & ECO

DIVISION: RESEARCH

 

By Rebecca Popowsky, Research Associate at OLIN

Photo by Sahar Coston-Hardy, 2018.

Photo by Sahar Coston-Hardy, 2018.

The Soil-less Soil project’s goal is to create healthy green infrastructure soils for the urban forest and parks of Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley that are 100% renewable sourced from a combination of recycled glass fines, Class A Biosolids, on-site mineral soils, and other rapidly renewable materials that achieve consistent results and preserve the region’s topsoil for farmland and natural preservation. The Soil-less Soil project aims to divert one of the region’s largest, most expensive waste streams—glass—into a rapidly reusable local component of urban soil blends. By ending the need to disruptively mine sand from pits throughout the region, this project will both close a major regional waste loop and reduce the peri-urban development pressures that accompany this extractive industry. Second, this project is focused on designing an urban soil and crushed glass blend that optimizes water quality and plant health. Finally, this project is ultimately about accelerating the green stormwater infrastructure development process. By developing an optimal, standardized urban soil blend, this project promises to provide a means of building better green infrastructure more quickly and economically.

Read more here: Soil-less Soils: An OLIN Labs Research Initiative

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