Composting and Brownfields

An appropriate use for contaminated or brownfield sites is to re-purpose them as small scale composting facilities.  The reason for this is that the addition of compost to contaminated soil, as well as the act of composting itself, can assist in the reduction or imbolizaion of soil-based pollutants (Ceccanti, 2006)(Farrell, 2010).  Benefits of compositng on contaminated sites include:

  • compost acts to encapsulate contaminated soil, creating a physical barrier between people and the soil and prevents contaminantns from becoming dust-borne.
  • Creates a microbially enhanced environment that can facilitate the degradation of organic pollutants
  • Neutralizes soil pH so as to reduce the solubility of both cationic and anionic metals
  • Lipophilic metals such as lead can bind with the compost, thereby reducing their biological availability

After a sufficient amount of finished compost has been created on a site (enough to create six to twelve inches of soil), it can be spread about and used for agriculture purposes.