This document provides guidance on the range of tests that could be necessary to characterize soil and other soil materials intended to be re-used, with or without preliminary treatment (e.g. screening to remove over large material). It is intended to be of use in determining the suitability of soil materials for re-use (see 3.4.1), and the assessment of the environmental impacts that might arise from re-use. It takes into account the different requirements of topsoil, sub-soil and other soil materials such as sediments or treated soils. International Standard methods are listed that might be of use for characterization.
Soil materials include natural soils and other materials (e.g. fill, made ground) excavated, stripped, or otherwise removed from their original in-ground or above-ground location (e.g. stockpile), dredged materials, manufactured soils, and soil treated to remove or destroy contaminants. For manufactured soils, which are often made using excavated materials together with other materials such as "green waste", the characteristics of the components and of the manufactured product might need to be determined.
NOTE The terms "excavated soil" and "excavated soil materials" are used for brevity throughout the document to embrace the range of materials covered.
An overriding principle governing the guidance provided in this document is that when there is to be no change in intended land use at the target site, imported soil materials cannot lead to a permanent reduction in performance of relevant soil functions.
The guidance provided is intended to cover a range of possible end uses, including:
— play areas for small children, including nursery schools, kindergartens, etc.;
— gardens and other residential areas;
— recreational areas, e.g. parks, sport fields;
— restoration of damaged ecosystems;
— mining and industrial sites;
— construction sites;
— road and rail constructions.
It is not applicable to the placement of soil materials in an aqueous environment or to restore underground workings. It does not address geotechnical requirements when soil materials are to be used as construction material.
NOTE The sensitive end uses listed above such as play areas for small children, schools, gardens, agriculture and recreational areas require particular care, particularly when excavated soils are derived from contaminated sites.