When rehabilitating technogenically disturbed lands of mining facilities, fertilizers and ameliorants are to be applied due to the lack of organic matter and nutrients required for the restoration of the soil and vegetation layer. The use of unconventional fertilizers (ameliorants) based on sewage sludge is one of the actual directions of land reclamation at mining sites. The purpose of the work is to summarize and analyze up-to-date information on the effectiveness of the use of sewage sludge for the reclamation of technogenically disturbed lands of mining and processing industries. The analysis is based on a review of recent studies aimed at assessing the impact of introduced sediment on soils, plant communities, and rehabilitated areas. The introduction of sewage sludge has a positive effect on the physical and chemical parameters of the soil (optimizes density and aggregation), saturates it with nutrients, i.e. N, P, K, Ca, Mg, and Na, thus improving plant growth indicators. However, it may contain a number of heavy metals and pathogens; therefore, studies of each sediment and conditions of reclaimed areas are necessary.
The article analyses waste generation of pulp and paper industry in North-Western Russia. The environmental impact of waste storage facilities of the pulp and paper mill was assessed, the need for utilization of lignin sludge was justified. In North-Western Russia, 1.21 million hectares of disturbed areas are in need for reclamation; they are abandoned quarries and lands alienated for pipeline and road construction. The suitability of lignin sludge for preparation of artificial fertile soils for reclamation purposes is estimated. For this purpose, experiments were carried out to create an artificial mixture with different ratios of lignin sludge and soil, to detect the maldevelopment of several plant species grown on various compositions of lignin sludge and soils. It was revealed that lignin sludge as an organic additive to soils is not toxic to vegetation and living organisms, allowing improving fertility of artificial soils.