Written collaboratively with the Northeast Biosolids & Residuals Association (NEBRA) and the Green Mountain Water Environment Association (GMWEA) this article highlights the benefits of residuals recycling and explores the very first Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) construction project that was completed using our Manufactured Topsoil.
Authorization to supply Manufactured Topsoil to these transportation construction projects was the result of collaborative meetings between RMI, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), VTrans, the Recycled Materials Working Group (RMWG), and Engineers Construction Inc. (ECI.) Approval was received in July of 2022, and shortly after this our work with the Williston Park and Ride project began. RMI supplied biosolids, paper fiber, and wood ash to our distribution partner ECI who screened and mixed the materials into a blended soil. Healthy, robust microbial activity resulted in a thick cover of grass sprouting up within just a few weeks. All parties were very satisfied with the end result, and the Park and Ride remains bordered by hearty vegetation.
All residuals used in this mix were sourced from generators in Vermont, including Soundview Paper, the largest producer of residuals within the state. Recycling these materials not only supports the local circular economy by ensuring that nothing goes to waste, but also diverts them from landfills subject to capacity. While we did encounter a brief pause due to PFAS scrutiny, soil test results along with the support of Vermont regulators, generators, soil scientists, and the biosolids community allowed us to resume.
Our Manufactured Topsoil was created as a way to beneficially and sustainably re-use residuals, and continued VTrans projects will provide outlets for these recycled materials across the state. This is thanks to the hard work of many individuals, as well as continued support from the state of Vermont for sustainable solutions and the reduction of waste.