Ex-Situ Phytoremediation of Paper Mill Landfill Leachate

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Northern Wisconsin County Landfill Leachate Treatment

Sand County Environmental designed and deployed a full-scale poplar system for the sole purpose of treating leachate from a paper mill sludge compost facility.

  • 3 acres planted
  • Leachate collected from sludge lagoon is applied to hybrid poplars via drip irrigation
  • No liner beneath trees
  • Over 30 feet to the water table
  • Regulatory approval gained within a week of submission

Drip irrigation is used to apply the leachate to the trees. The system has no liner, and has been fully functional.

Prior to the phytoremediation system, annual costs for leachate treatment were $19,000. Total cost for installation of the phytoremediation system was $23,000. Thus, the payback period for the tree system was a little more than one year.