“Moving shovels, moving earth”, an article by Sybille Vincendon in Libération

20 August 2020

Moving shovels and soil

By Sibylle Vincendon — 12 April 2019 at 11:24

[Every week, we run a story of towns, of villages and urban issues. Today we look at the destiny of the tons of soil that are being shifted for construction works. We’re talking big bulk.

So there’s this story of the guy who’s digging a hole. Another man arrives and says “Where are you going to put the soil?” And the first guy replies, “In another hole.” On all construction and public works sites, digging the hole is the first thing you do. But as you can’t dig a second one to pour the earth into, having tons of minerals to manage is no small affair.
When you look at spoil, you go behind the scenes in the world of urban construction; you’re now standing in the kitchen that you never hear about. “As soon as anybody gets building consent, there’s going to be excavated soil”, explains Laurent Mogno, chairman of ECT, which is a leading company in the business of collecting, processing and using soil from construction sites. “Construction companies pay us to take it away”. It’s the law. And then it’s up to the person who takes the soil to find something to do with it.]

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