When construction projects require the creation of a sturdy and stable base, crews can use a variety of fill materials to create a firm foundation. While there are many materials available, fill dirt and sand are some of the most common. How do contractors decide which material to use? Well, dirt and sand each have strengths and weaknesses that make them appropriate for certain projects and not others. In this blog, we will go over the basics of fill dirt and sand, the benefits and drawbacks of each material, and what projects are best suited for fill dirt or sand use.
BASICS OF FILL DIRT AND SAND
Fill dirt and sand are both materials that are harvested from the earth for use in construction, but they are very different in their composition and physical properties. Fill dirt has very little organic matter or biological activity, which means that it will not shift or decompose over time. Dirt is excavated from deep underneath topsoil and fertile soil. On the other hand, sand is made of minuscule particles of rock that have been broken down over time. Like fill dirt, sand has a high compaction rating, which means that it can be compacted to make a dense and stable foundation. Unlike dirt, sand is made of rounded and hard particulates that can be displaced or shifted.
While it is not ideal for every situation, dirt is often the best choice for creating a compacted foundation for things like roads and buildings. For these projects, having an entirely unmovable base is vital. Because of its ability to be displaced, sand is generally inappropriate for these types of projects. Fill dirt can also be used in landscaping projects. Dirt is a versatile fill material and can be used to level out dips or hills, build up a landscape, or occupy the areas around underground pipes.
PROJECTS IN WET ENVIRONMENTS
Dirt is great for creating solid, unmovable foundations in dry places, but it tends to absorb and retain moisture when used in wet areas. Wet environments are where sand truly excels. Sand does not absorb water; it merely allows it to pass through. This makes sand ideal for applications in damp environments. Sand is often used for fill material in and around ponds, septic tanks, and other damp areas.
Why are landfills, Rock Mines & Burrow Pits important?
Landfills are important because many people might not like the idea of a landfill in their area, or in their city, but it is vital part of the smooth running and clean initiative that you need when it comes to rubbish and waste disposal. This is why residents and businesses can enjoy a clean environment: all their garbage removal and waste disposal, that is collected and removed.
Facts you may not know about landfills
- About one-third of an average dump is made up of packaging material!
- Every year, each American throws out about 1,200 pounds of organic garbage that can be composted.
- The U.S. is the #1 trash-producing country in the world at 1,609 pounds per person per year. This means that 5% of the world’s people generate 40% of the world’s waste.
- The highest point in Hamilton County, Ohio (near Cincinnati) is “Mount Rumpke.” It is actually a mountain of trash at the Rumpke sanitary landfill towering 1045 ft. above sea level.
- The US population discards each year 16,000,000,000 diapers, 1,600,000,000 pens, 2,000,000,000 razor blades, 220,000,000 car tires, and enough aluminum to rebuild the US commercial air fleet four times over.
- Out of every $10 spent buying things, $1 (10%) goes for packaging that is thrown away. Packaging represents about 65% of household trash.
- On average, it costs $30 per ton to recycle trash, $50 to send it to the landfill, and $65 to $75 to incinerate it.
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National Site Materials and Arwood Site Services are major landfill providers.
During this special week of celebration for Waste and Recycling Workers Week, we join together to thank the women and men who work daily to keep our neighborhoods and streets safe and clean!
Join us the week of June 17th, and all throughout the year, to celebrate these hard-working women and men!