Glass and debris in topsoil: Remove, suppress?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by BuildingandGroundsGuy, May 13, 2004.

  1. BuildingandGroundsGuy

    BuildingandGroundsGuy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    I direct buildings and grounds at a new school in Massachusetts. The building site had a demolished building on it and had become a drinking hangout prior to or construction. The contractor recycled the topsoil screening it before re-spreading it. After the rain, as the fines settled, glass and other debris began to appear on the surface (mostly 1/2 to 1 inch size pieces). The general contractor thought that establishing a lawn would keep the glass from surfacing, but due to poor quality of the soil (sanding with low organic matter content) the lawn has been very slow to establish and glass keeps surfacing.

    Any thoughts on remedial action short of removing 6 inches of soil and replacing it all? Does anyone have any experience with trying to keep glass and other debris from working its way to the surface? On contractor suggested Harley raking followed by Terra seeding to top dress and seed.

    We are dealing with approximately 3/4 of an acre. We are looking for a solution that will create a safe lawn / playgound at the most reasonable cost. I would appreciate any advice and expertise.
  2. Ice_Gargoylle

    Ice_Gargoylle LawnSite Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 60

    man thats a difficult one to answer. the power rakes may not be able to pick those pieces up. i have never used them but they aint rocks. specially when it comes to children, you cant afford to miss anything.

    the only thing i can think of since you alrdy stared to grow grass is rake it by hand, the only sure method to get it all. forgoing the seed, you could sod the area. its all in one spot so it wouldnt take that long. i think sod would be the safest because of the instant barrier, just have to grade off the grass/seed and water alot.

    hell you could just grade off the first 1-2 inches then bring in better soil. i think what is happening is the glass is in the soil, but when it rains hte soil is settling around it. so "coming to the surface" isnt really accurate. its getting uncoverd. so as long as the glass is down 1-2 inches it wont be a factor.
  3. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Messages: 4,205

    How about a skid steer with a rotating brush?(the type they use for cleaning streets during construction)
    Clean it up real well with the skid and hydro seed the area again.
  4. paponte

    paponte LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,366

    All topsoil is recycled and will have foreign material in it. The amount of material would depend on site conditions, and the screening process. After topsoil is spread and leveled it should always be raked whether manual or mechanical to both remove this unwanted material, and to provide a level and plentiful seedbed.

    If the ph of the soil is incorrect to establish turf, thats a whole other issue. ;)
  5. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,654

    Just came upon this thread. You may laugh at this, but since this would be for the good of the public why not literally have a boy scout troop walk shoulder to shoulder from one end of the property to the other and collect every piece of debris that they find. It would be their good deed for the day and would be free except maybe for some kind of gift donated to the troop.

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