International Journal of Applied Science and Technology

ISSN 2221-0997 (Print), 2221-1004 (Online) 10.30845/ijast

The Redirt Project: Creating Fabricated Soil from Waste River Silt for Urban Brownfield Regeneration at the ALMONO Site in Hazelwood, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Dr. Valentin Kefeli, Chris Leininger, Shari Mastalski, Beth Rihn, Dave Epley

In 2009 the Fabricated Soil Research Team and GTECH Strategies, Inc. agreed to work together on a Green Product Innovation Grant awarded by the Pittsburgh Green Building Alliance to investigate the potential to recycle river silt, a waste product derived in the process of turning river water into drinking water, as an essential component in fabricated soil (fs); an artificial soil made of a mix of low cost, recycled materials. The development of the concept of fs over the last 15 years has been pioneered by members of the Fabricated Soil Research Team at several locations including the Jennings Environmental Education Center, the Robert A. Macoskey Center for Sustainable Systems Education and Research at Slippery Rock University, and the Center for Building Performance and Diagnostics at Carnegie Mellon University. The Fabricated Soil Research Team filled twelve 4’x4’x1’4” test plots (wooden raised beds) with a fabricated soil mix consisting of a proprietary combination of nutrient sources, including Monongahela River Silt, a by-product supplied by the Pennsylvania American Water Company. The beds were unlined, allowing the fabricated soil to sit directly on top of the existing soil. The soil components were tested for nutrients and contaminants. None of the components, including the river silt and the existing site material, were significantly contaminated by any toxic materials.
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