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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Evaluation of a Non-Composted Organic Waste Byproduct on Soil Restoration

Authors
item Torbert, Henry
item Busby, R - U.S. ARMY ENG. RES.
item Gebhart, D - U.S. ARMY ENG. RES.
item Potter, Kenneth

Submitted to: Soil Science Society of America Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 10, 2006
Publication Date: November 10, 2006
Citation: Torbert III, H.A., Busby, R., Gebhart, D., Potter, K.N. 2006. Evaluation of a non-composted organic waste byproduct on soil restoration [abstract]. Agronomy Abstracts, ASA. CDROM.

Technical Abstract: A new garbage processing technology has been developed that sterilizes and separates inorganic and organic components of municipal solid waste. The organic byproduct of this process, named Fluff®, has the potential to be utilized as a soil amendment. A study was initiated to evaluate Fluff as a soil amendment for establishing perennial prairie grasses on disturbed Army training lands. The Fluff was incorporated into a sandy loam soil at Fort Benning Military Reservation at rates of 0, 8, 16, 32, and 64 Mg/ha to assess the effects on vegetation community, plant tissue composition, and soil properties for two growing seasons. Previous studies at Fort Campbell Military Reservation indicated that the highest Fluff rate had significantly higher native grass basal cover and percent composition than the controls and that the Fluff rates used in the Fort Campbell study (up to 36 Mg/ha) did not result in adverse or detectable changes in environmental variables measured. Studies at Fort Benning indicated a substantial increase in native grass establishment as the rate of Fluff incorporation was increased. Likewise, an increase in soil C and N was observed with the increased application of Fluff. Because no adverse environmental effects were detected and Fluff improved perennial grass establishment and nutrition, land application of Fluff could be considered a viable and beneficial alternative to current waste management practices.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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