Sustainable land application: An overview

G. A. O'Connor, H. A. Elliott, N. T. Basta, R. K. Bastian, G. M. Pierzynski, R. C. Sims, J. E. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


Man has land-applied societal nonhazardous wastes for centuries as a means of disposal and to improve the sol via the recycling of nutrients and the addition of organic matter. Nonhazardous wastes include a vast array of materials, including manures, biosolids, composts, wastewater effluents, food-processing wastes, industrial by-products; these are collectively referred to herein as residuals. Because of economic restraints and environmental concerns about land-filling and incineration, interest in land application continues to grow. A major lesson that has been learned, however, is that the traditional definition of land application that emphasizes applying residuals to land in a manner that protects human and animal health, safeguards soil and water resources, and maintains long-term ecosystem quality is incomplete unless the earning of public trust in the practices is included. This overview provides an introduction to a subset of papers and posters presented at the conference, "Sustainable Land Application," held in Orlando, FL, in January 2004. The USEP A, USDA, and multiple national and state organizations with interest in, and/or responsibilities for, ensuring the sustainability of the practice sponsored the conference. The overriding conference objectives were to highlight significant developments in land treatment theory and practice, and to identify future research needs to address critical gaps in the knowledge base that must be addressed to ensure sustainable land application of residuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-17
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Environmental Quality
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Sustainable land application: An overview'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this