Making soil a valuable resource at ET

Balfour Beatty Ground Engineering is one of the biggest players in worldwide construction and its director of GeoEnvironmental will be explaining why 'dig and dump' is over.

Ian Gatenby will be talking about the latest innovations and, more importantly, how they’re being applied to the industry.

He’ll be commenting on whether the current system of classifying contaminated land is helping or hindering the industry.

Mr Gatenby said: “I’ll be playing devil’s advocate asking whether the terms we use for dealing with contaminated land issues are right.

“Why should a client spend a lot of money to treat land, when they’re not sure if they should just send it to landfill.

“Landfill is still, disappointingly, seen as commercially viable for a lot of firms so we need to help people see the bigger picture.

“Something like soil should be seen as a thing of value, something that can bring in revenue when it’s treated and reused.

“Something that can save money for a company when it’s treated an reused on site instead of just sent to landfill when contaminated and new soil shipped in.

“There’s a long way to go before this is a standard practice but I’m starting to see it in a few places.”

Mr Gatenby will also be looking at the latest legislation and how it’s affecting companies in the green economy.

He added: “Companies are worried about regulation and possible litigations and the resulting costs.

“And the obvious damage to their reputations which may have been built up over several years.”

Luke Walsh

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie