The value of pulverized refuse fines (PRF) as a substitute for topsoil in land reclamation. I. Field studies.

Published online
13 Nov 1996
Content type
Journal article
Journal title
Journal of Applied Ecology

Chu, L. M. & Bradshaw, A. D.

Publication language


The suitability of pulverized refuse fines (PRF) as a topsoil substitute in the reclamation of colliery spoil and urban clearance areas was studied in the field at sites in N. England for 26 months. Growth of ryegrass (Lolium perenne) was poor on untreated substrates. Substrates with topsoil or fertilizer applied, produced better yields. However, the highest yields were obtained from substrates spread with a 20-cm depth of PRF. The concentration and uptake of nitrogen in the ryegrass was highest in the PRF plots. Despite the relatively high C:N ratio (38) of PRF, mineralization of nitrogen occurred readily and supplied sufficient nitrogen for plant uptake within the study period, suggesting the organic nitrogen in PRF is in an easily decomposable form. The potential of PRF to supply available nitrogen was about 6-12 times that of the topsoil used.

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