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J. Environ. Qual
Vol. 34, No. xx, 2005; Pages: 7–17

Sustainable Land Application: An Overview

G. A. O’Connor,* H. A. Elliott, N. T. Basta, R. K. Bastian, G. M. Pierzynski, R. C. Sims, and J. E. Smith, Jr

Soil and Water Science Department, University ofFlorida, P.O. Box 110510, Gainesville, FL 32611.


Man has land-applied societal nonhazardous wastes for centuriesas a means of disposal and to improve the soil via the recycling of nutrients and the addition of organic matter. Nonhazardous wastes include a vast array of materials, including manures, biosolids, composts,wastewater effluents, food-processing wastes, industrial by-products;these are collectively referred to herein as residuals. Because of economic restraints and environmental concerns about land-filling andincineration, interest in land application continues to grow. A majorlesson that has been learned, however, is that the traditional definitionof land application that emphasizes applying residuals to land in amanner that protects human and animal health, safeguards soil andwater resources, and maintains long-term ecosystem quality is incomplete unless the earning of public trust in the practices is included.This overview provides an introduction to a subset of papers and posterspresented at the conference, “Sustainable Land Application,” held inOrlando, FL, in January 2004. TheUSEPA,USDA,andmultiple nationaland state organizations with interest in, and/or responsibilities for, ensuring the sustainability of the practice sponsored the conference.The overriding conference objectives were to highlight significant developments in land treatment theory and practice, and to identify futureresearch needs to address critical gaps in the knowledge base that mustbe addressed to ensure sustainable land application of residuals.

Keywords:land-appliedsocietalnonhazardous;food-processingwastes;nonhazardous wastesNonhazardous;biosolids;phosphorus;radionuclides.

Corresponding author:

E-mail: gao@ufl.edu


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