California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

Organic Materials Management

Caltrans Erosion Control Demonstration Project

In January 1997, the CIWMB (now known as the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery or CalRecycle) initiated a contract with the Department of Transportation (Caltrans) for a two-and-a-half-year demonstration and research project using various mulch, compost, and co-compost (bio-solids composted with yard trimmings) materials as erosion control materials for re-vegetation of roadsides that could potentially erode. CalRecycle funding, which totaled $35,000 plus federal highway funds leveraged by the partnership, allowed project staff to conduct research relative to specification development and establishment of demonstration sites using various types of recycled-content erosion control materials. A preliminary report titled Compost Demonstration Project, Placer County: Use of Compost and Co-Compost as a Primary Erosion Control Material was written by Caltrans and U.C. Davis for CalRecycle. Caltrans disseminated the final report, The Use of Compost and Co-Compost as a Primary Erosion Control Material in 2002.

Goals

  • Collect data on mulch, compost, and co-compost performance of surface applications.
  • Establish erosion control demonstration sites in California.
  • Characterize plant available nutrients and other properties of these recycled-content products and their effect on re-vegetation plants.
  • Develop specifications for use of these recycled-content products as erosion control materials.

Partnership Organizations

  • Fiscal Agent: Caltrans.
  • Project Director: John Haynes, Caltrans.
  • Key Partners: Caltrans, University of California at Davis, Texas Transportation Institute

Project Components

  1. Partnership Development and Implementation of Work Plan. The partnership team developed a work plan for evaluating the use of mulch and compost as erosion control materials. Tasks performed included a literature search, product quality survey, establishment of one demonstration plot and a standardized testing of erosion control materials. Tasks performed included the effect on soil processes relative to mulch or compost use through the summer of 2001.
  2. Specification Development and Dissemination. Specifications for mulch and compost as erosion control materials will be developed for California based on data from this project. Caltrans staff disseminated these specifications throughout the State in 2001.
  3. Reporting and Publishing Results. During the course of the project, the partnership team developed information for a CalRecycle progress report. In 2002, CalTrans disseminated a final report, The Use of Compost and Co-Compost as a Primary Erosion Control Material.

Purpose:

  • Develop specifications for mulch and compost as erosion control materials.
  • Demonstrate the value of mulch and compost as erosion control materials.
  • Disseminate the results of the project to erosion control specialists.

Erosion Control Home

Last updated: July 19, 2011
Organic Materials Management http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/Organics/
Contacts: http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/Organics/Contacts.htm