Ontario needs to focus on managing excess construction soils effectively

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The Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO) will be hosting its own Soils Room at the OGRA-ROMA Conference to help educate participants on the many uses of excess soils.

RCCAO said in a statement that excavations across Southern Ontario have resulted in 20 to 25 million cubic metres of excess soils each year.

“There is a growing recognition by municipalities, the public and the construction sector that the current approach to managing excess soils from the building of rapid transit lines, roads, sewers and water mains is not as effective as it should be,” states Andy Manahan, and infrastructure advocate and executive director of RCCAO.

Construction companies and contractors have few options for disposing of excess soils, which means that it has to be hauled long distances to designated landfills in rural Ontario. Across the province, this creates an additional tax burden of up to $1.7 billion every year.

RCCAO said that there is a need to start thinking of clean excess soils from construction projects as a resource that can be reused beneficially. With better testing and tracking methods and a better understanding of how contaminants in the soil affect the natural environment, much of the excess soils can be safely reused in a variety of projects.

The OGRA-ROMA Conference will be held at the Fairmont Royal York hotel in Toronto on Feb. 24.

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