Since 1995

Consequences of Improper Soil Removal

Consequences of Improper Soil Removal

Let’s look at several potential consequences of improper soil removal.

One thing about construction that the average person doesn’t usually think about is what happens to the soil. Whenever you have a construction project, you often also have a pretty significant upheaval of the dirt and soil around and under the project. After all, if you’re building a new foundation in the ground, all the soil that used to be there needs to go somewhere. Can’t they just throw it out anywhere? It’s not like it is trash – it’s just dirt, right? It is simply not that simple. In fact, the improper handling and removal of soil and materials that might be in it can cause major issues. Let’s look at several potential consequences of improper soil removal.

Potential Contamination

If you just dump it from your site anywhere, you risk contaminating that area with anything in the soil that could leach out – especially, but certainly not limited to, heavy metals. Anything that is contaminating the soil could leach out and contaminate even more of it wherever you dump it. If that soil turns into a garden eventually, it could also contaminate the food that grows there. It could also runoff into nearby waterways and contaminate those. It could even get into the air, if contaminated soil ends up burned in a landfill. Understanding the potential channels of contamination is a lot, which is why outsourcing your environmental health and safety operations might be a good call. The bottom line is that once you dig it up and move it, you’re responsible for what is in it – even if you don’t know that there are contaminants in it.

Potential Missed Opportunities

One of the biggest potential missed opportunities is that soils and related materials in the soil could be recycled. Recycling soil? Sure! In most cases, the soils and resulting materials need to be processed and in some cases treated to remove contamination. Often, however, the resulting materials can be turns for a profit. For instance, all of that “just dirt” might actually include clay, sand, bits of concrete, chunks of metal, and of course clean dirt, that could all be recycled or sold for a profit.

Potential For Fines

Even if you don’t care strongly that the act of dumping that dirt could have longterm and far-reaching environmental impact, you should care about the potential for fines and legal action. Depending on where you are, there could be extremely costly regulations surrounding dumping (especially when it impacts a stream or waterway). Having to pay for getting caught (on top of being responsible for negative ecological impact) is not worth the cost saving of illegally dumping those materials.


We strive to keep your facility and the environment safe at all times. We’ll also ensure your facility remains compliant thanks to the 28 years of experience we have in the field. If you ever need our services, contact us here and we’ll be more than happy to help you.

This entry was posted on Friday, March 10th, 2023 at 12:30 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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