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Evaluating the Potential Hydrological Performance of a Bioretention Media with 100% Recycled Waste Components

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Daniel GreenORCiD, Dr Ross Stirling, Professor Richard DawsonORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Bioretention systems are a popular type of Sustainable Drainage System (SuDS). However,their largest single component, the fill media, is often a non-sustainably sourced material. Thisstudy evaluates a bioretention fill media comprising 100% recycled waste components. The fillmedia components come from multiple waste streams, quarry waste from the construction sector,crushed glass and green waste compost from domestic waste, and sugar-beet washings from thefood processing sector. The hydraulically important physical characteristics of the recycled fillmedia were evaluated against reported literature examples of bioretention fill media, alongsideUK and international guidance documentation. The particle size distribution of the recycled fillmedia was found to be unlike that seen in the literature and was also not compliant with the UK’sCIRIA ’The SuDS Manual’ guidance (d ≥6 mm = 45% vs. 0% target). However, this did notresult in any additional non-compliance, with laboratory-derived saturated hydraulic conductivity(Ks = 101 mm/h) and porosity (φ = 44%) within recommended ranges (100 ≤Ks ≤300 mm/h,φ >30%). SWMM was used to predict the performance of a bioretention system installed with therecycled fill media compared to UK guidance configured systems. It was found that the recycledfill media would have similar performance to a UK guidance compliant system, irrespective of itsparticle size distribution. Further work is required to validate the predicted performance of therecycled media.

Publication metadata

Author(s): De-Ville S, Green D, Edmondson J, Stirling R, Dawson R, Stovin V

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Water

Year: 2021

Volume: 13

Issue: 15

Print publication date: 01/08/2021

Online publication date: 23/07/2021

Acceptance date: 21/07/2021

Date deposited: 25/07/2021

ISSN (electronic): 2073-4441

Publisher: MDPI


DOI: 10.3390/w13152014


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