Re-use of Minnesota waste material in sustainably design soils. Part 2.

Principal Investigator(s):

David Saftner, Associate Professor & Depart. Head, UMD-Civil Engineering


  • Matthew Aro, Research Program Manager, UMD-NRRI
  • Meijun Cai, Research Technical Manager, Env Eng, UMD-Nat Resources Rsrch Inst

Project summary:

Minnesota produces numerous high-volume by-products and waste materials from mineral, forestry, agricultural, and industrial sectors. Reusing or recycling these materials can conserve natural resources while reducing material costs. This project will identify, select, and characterize waste materials, by-products, and commercially available materials available across Minnesota to create engineered soil mixes capable of meeting stormwater retention requirements and supporting native plant establishment. Patelke et al. provided a framework for this project using materials from northeast Minnesota. This project will expand the work Patelke et al. began by including more waste materials from across Minnesota. Researchers will identify and collect by-products and waste materials from varying industries statewide; characterize all new materials and potentially productive soil mixes; install, instrument, and analyze in situ engineered soil mixes utilizing waste materials; conduct an environmental life cycle assessment (LCA) for productive materials; and create a design guide for MnDOT engineers. The objective of this project is to create an implementation design guide for statewide, resilient, and sustainable engineered soil mixes providing volume and pollutant load reduction capable of supporting native plant growth.

Project details:

  • Project number: 2023013
  • Start date: 10/2022
  • Project status: Active
  • Research area: Environment and Energy
  • Topics: Environment