Across the western United States, thousands of abandoned mine sites have been left as unproductive wastelands. Many are covered with toxic, highly acidic mine spoil, causing contamination of surface water and groundwater. Developing healthy soils that can sustain plant life is essential if sites degraded by mining are to recover. WRI is formulating synthetic soils with locally available amendments for use in establishing vegetative cover at mined sites.
The WRI approach emphasizes economy and effectiveness. We ask, “What’s needed and what’s available?” We identify the characteristics of the mine site by assessing fertility and analyzing the physical and chemical properties of the surface materials. Then we modify the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of the surface medium to promote productivity.
The SynSoil process combines physical modifications and chemical and biological amendments. Physical modifications reduce compaction, enhance water penetration, promote root growth and reduce erosion. We look at chemical amendments, such as fly ash sludges, fertilizers, liming materials, and superabsorbents or hydrogels (water holding materials) and biological amendments, such as sludges, filter cakes, and organic mulches, to assess their availability and suitability to the site. If you’re seeking to remediate a site or looking for a waste management solution, contact us. Licensing opportunities available.