Caltex soil project wins innovation award

A Sydney facility that treats soil contaminated by crude oil-based products so it can be appropriately reused has won a Gold award for innovation at the Edison Awards in New York.

The Caltex facility, a first for Australia, saves up to 80,000 tonnes of contaminated soil from ending up as landfill each year. It was recognised in the global awards program’s category of Energy & Sustainability – Reuse & Reclamation.

The environmentally friendly and sustainable technique involves breaking down contaminants by adjusting airflow and adding nutrients to stimulate ‘aerobic microbial activity’ in the soil.

“In some ways, it’s a little bit like a compost heap in the sense that, with the right conditions, we can allow the soil to break down naturally and sustainably,” Caltex National Environment Manager Colin Roberts said. “All emissions generated during the remediation are captured by our filter system to ensure there are no odours while the soil is being treated.”

The awards, named after American inventor Thomas Edison, drew finalists from more than 20 countries.

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