Flip this slag: CFAES team turns brownfield green

Restoring soil 2In Chicago, Nick Basta and colleagues from CFAES’s School of Environment and Natural Resources are helping restore “an 87-acre wasteland of glassy slag” using topsoil made from biosolids. Biosolids are treated sewage sludge (in this case, collected by Chicago’s sewage system); once treated, they’re safe to use, free of pathogens and full of nutrients that help plants grow. In test plots, a biosolids-based soil blend made by Basta and team worked better than a wood-chip-based compost at supporting plants and beneficial soil organisms. The slag is waste from steel mills that used to be on the site. Read more in a story in TerraDaily.