About this Research Topic
Waste management has acquired great importance in encouraging the recovery and reuse of waste. The principal goal is to consider waste not as the end product of a chain, but as the beginning of another, providing society with benefits through the re-use of wastes in other production (concept of circular economy). Wastes should be minimized, reused, and re-cycled to the greatest extent possible. One important mechanism for recycling wastes is to use them in building or restoring healthy, productive soils.
Soil health is of vital importance for the proper functioning of society, since it provides a wide variety of functions such as food production and biomass, in addition to buffering pollution and storage of nutrients and carbon. However, soil degradation is a growing problem throughout the world caused by the interaction of bio-physic and socio-economic factors. It has a direct impact on air and water quality, and on changes in biodiversity and climate. Degraded soils result from the action of multiple processes causing the loss or decrease of productivity and affect their physical, chemical and/or biological properties.
Contaminated and degraded soils generally have low fertility, low organic matter content and may have a high pH level. The establishment of vegetation cover in this type of soil is difficult unless amendments are added. The reuse of organic waste may have a positive effect increasing productivity and fertility in such soils. These amendments may also increase carbon sequestration, and maintain and improve soil biodiversity. Nevertheless, a detailed characterization of the organic wastes that could be used for soil amendments, as well as an assessment of their potential long-terms impacts are needed to develop this avenue as a sustainable tool for soil remediation.
The aim of this Research Topic is to gather contributions from scientists working in agronomic and environmental disciplines who have common interests evaluating the current methods and new alternatives for waste management that focus on recycling wastes into the soil, the conversion of organic wastes into a resource for improving soil quality and“ecological capital”.
Keywords: Waste management, Recovery and reuse of waste, Soil conservation, Soil biodiversity