You are a quarry operator, a developer or a public works contractor and you are not sure how to manage and recycle your excavated earth? The BRGM can provide support, from sampling to characterisation and treatment of these excavated soils.

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    Rehabilitation work on a brownfield site

    Rehabilitation work on a brownfield site for conversion to residential use (off-site reuse of excavated earth) (2013).

    © BRGM - Fabien Lion

    Your issues and needs

    Every year in France, almost 130 million tonnes of earth are excavated for infrastructure and development projects. Considered as waste if it is removed from its site of origin (Waste Framework Directive 2008), this earth raises a number of questions concerning its reuse or disposal and requires specific treatment.  

    Beyond the problems posed by the issue of polluted sites and soils, management of earth represents a major challenge for construction and demolition waste treatment. The potential for recycling or reusing this earth is particularly interesting, provided the environmental issues (protection of groundwater) and health concerns (protection of future users of the land) connected with its reuse as landfill for development projects are successfully tackled.

    Les terres excavées représentent 70% des déchets du BTP et sont par conséquent une ressource importante à valoriser pour l’économie circulaire

    Excavated soils account for 70% of construction waste and are therefore a major resource to be developed for the circular economy.

    © BRGM - Philippe Bataillard

    Our added value

    Apart from its contribution to the production of the various guides and tools regarding the characterisation and off-site management of excavated earth, the BRGM is committed to implementing a coherent strategy to support relevant players by:  

    • Producing territorial audits and feasibility studies to set up processes for the recycling of excavated earth through the creation of transit hubs;  
    • Developing sampling and characterisation methodologies for this excavated earth;   
    • Developing the technology for computer-based excavated earth exchange platforms in order to improve traceability
    • Developing pilot programmes for the treatment of polluted excavated earth and assessing their environmental impact;  
    • Ensuring sustainability of treatment solutions for excavated earth based on ageing tests and modelling tools;
    • Providing training in recycling excavated earth.
    Le BRGM étudie des solutions de valorisation des terres excavées comme composant pour recréer artificiellement des sols fonctionnels

    BRGM is investigating solutions for re-using excavated soils as a component for artificially re-creating functional ground.

    © BRGM - Philippe Bataillard

    Analytical tools and platforms



    Some references

    A construction machine dumping earth

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