Bioremediation

If you have soils or media contaminated with petrochemicals, pesticides, explosives or hazardous organic materials, on-site remediation can be problematic. On-site remediation is expensive and it’s usually very time-consuming. There are also serious legal and regulatory issues to consider when decontaminating soils on-site – issues that can jeopardize the viability of a construction or redevelopment project.

The alternative is off-site remediation. Waste Management, North America’s largest solid waste services company, has developed a collection of innovative off-site remediation technologies to that can help you deal effectively with contaminated soils. One such technology is bioremediation; a process where microorganisms are used to naturally ingest and breakdown toxic compounds.

Waste Management has developed several types of bioremediation processes, including:

TOSSSM (Two-Step Static System)

TOSSSM is a two-stage, solid-phase bioremediation technology that involves both anaerobic and aerobic treatment stages. In the first stage, explosives-contaminated soil is combined with a carbon source, an inoculum, vitamins and water to permit the growth of anaerobic bacteria. The resulting mixture is formed into a static pile or placed in a bermed construction or box to where these bacteria break the nitroaromatic and nitramine explosives down via digestion.

In the second stage, we combine the anaerobically treated soil with yard waste compost in an aerated biopile. The biopile may be aerated by forced air conveyed through perforated piping buried within the pile, or by turning the pile with a compost turner. Previous testing of TOSSSM has demonstrated TNT removal efficiencies of greater than 99 percent.

The BioSiteSM System

The BioSiteSM System is Waste Management's proprietary system for the large-scale bioremediation of soils contaminated with:

  • Petrochemicals including, but not limited to: Acetone, alcohols, benzene, ethylbenzene, methyl ethyl ketone (MEK), methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK), petroleum hydrocarbons, toluene, two- and three-ring PAHs, xylene
  • Other contaminants, including: Aliphatic chlorinated hydrocarbons (e.g., trichloroethylene), spent molecular sieve from packing towers, chemical manufacturing wastes, pesticides

Regulated compounds including underlying hazardous constituents (UHC) are screened prior to acceptance. Soils co-contaminated with metals may be accepted depending on their concentration.

Bio-In-A-BoxSM

Bio-In-A-BoxSM uses the same principles as both BioSiteSM and TOSSSM, but operates on a smaller scale. Instead of being formed into long earthen mounds, the contaminated soil is moistened, mixed with nutrients and custom-grown microorganisms, and then placed in enclosed containers called "solid phase bioreactors" for incubation. These containers may or may not be linked to aeration and vacuum pipes, depending on the contaminants being processed. In just a few weeks, your decontaminated soil will be ready for landfill disposal or reintroduction into the environment.

All of these bioremediation process are conducted at our Chemical Waste Management Subtitle C facilities that are permitted to operate our bioremediation processes. The treatment is conducted at our facility – not yours, thereby allowing you to use land and areas on your plant-site for your operations.

To learn more about how your company can benefit from Waste Management's off-site bioremediation services, contact the Waste Management Technical Service Center in your area by calling 800-963-4776 or find a location.