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Pulverized Paper as a Soil Carbon Source for Degraded Training Lands: User Guide


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A demonstration and validation project for the utilization of pulverized classified paper waste as a soil amendment to improve de-graded training lands was investigated. Military training lands are often lacking in soil organic matter, which improves water infiltration along with nutrient and moisture retention. When these lands are disturbed, nutrient availability favors weed establishment making restoration difficult. High carbon (C) wastes could help but are unfeasible because of cost and availability. Federal regulations require that classified paper be pulverized to very small fragments, negating recyclability. This material is currently landfilled, so reuse of this waste material is advantageous to training land management and also supports NetZero Waste initiatives. Based on the results of this project, pulverized paper can be safely applied to degraded training lands to improve establishment of desirable vegetation without any discernable negative consequences. When combining cost savings associated with landfill disposal of the paper with savings from greater land rehabilitation success, an estimated $300 per ton of diverted paper is realized. At the recommended application rate, this results in a cost savings of approximately $4,700 per acre. At the installation level, this equates to an estimated annual costs savings of $20,000 with 70 tons of paper diverted.



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