LIFE ReSoil - Demonstration of innovative soil washing technology for removal of toxic metals from highly contaminated garden soil

LIFE12 ENV/SI/000969

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Contact details:

Project Manager: Neža FINŽGAR
Email: neza.finzgar@envit.si

Project description:


Soil pollution is one of the main environmental problems in Europe and worldwide. Heavily polluted soils represent a serious threat to public health. They cause pollution of groundwater, hamper the functionality and health of agricultural areas, and reduce biological diversity. European Commission data indicates that 16% of the EU land area is affected by degradation. Hence soil remains one of the top priorities of EU environmental policy.

In the Upper Mežica Valley, the soil is heavily polluted with lead and other toxic metals due to centuries of mining. It has been estimated that around 350 000 m2 should be cleaned in order to ensure a healthy living environment for local inhabitants.

The urgent need for viable, sustainable remediation technology is most critical for soils contaminated with toxic metals such as Pb (lead) and Cd (cadmium) because existing technologies are only partially successful.


The LIFE ReSoil project will demonstrate an innovative technology for soil washing that removes most toxic metals and organic pollutants. Metals are removed after complexation with chelant ethylenediamine tetraacetate (EDTA). This method is soil friendly and enables reuse of remediated soil as a plant substrate. However, to date it has only been tested on a laboratory or pilot scale. The main project objectives are:

  • To scale-up this technology to enable large scale remediation of soils;
  • To assure the cost-effectiveness of the new technology - under 50 €/t for treatment of heavily polluted soil (over 5 000 mg Pb/kg);
  • To prepare a priority remediation list of contaminated locations in the Upper Mežica Valley;
  • To up-grade the technology for treatment of soils dually contaminated with both toxic metals and organic pollutants.
  • Expected results: 1)The design, construction and successful operation of a pilot remediation plant with a capacity of 6 tonnes of soil per day. After 26 months of operation 2 340 t of contaminated soil will be remediated and 7500 m2 of land reclaimed; 2)The successfully demonstration of the use of remediated soil for the safe home production of vegetables; 3)An assessment of the social, economic and environmental impact of the project. 4)Confirmation of the feasibility of future full-scale facilities using this novel technology and an assessment of the total cost of soil remediation; 5)A detailed financial and operational plan for soil remediation in the Upper Mežica Valley, beyond the project’s duration (to be used by local and national decision-makers for further actions); 6)The setting up of the remediation plant in an urban area, with minimal environmental impact and long-term operation potential, creating new permanent jobs for the local population; 7)Confirmation and benchmarking of the new soil remediation technology as the best-available technique for soils (especially garden soils) contaminated primarily with toxic metals.



Environmental issues addressed:


Risk management - Site rehabilitation - Decontamination


contamined soil‚  site rehabilitation‚  heavy metal‚  pollutant elimination

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator ENVIT environmental technologies and engineering Ltd.
Type of organisation SME Small and medium sized enterprise
Description ENVIT Ltd was founded in 2009 by a team of world renowned scientists specialising in soil remediation. It was established to promote and further develop new technology that will enable large-scale soil remediation. The company has developed cost effective and environmentally friendly soil washing technology that enables remediation of dually contaminated soils (metals and organic pollutants). The patented technology removes most pollutants from the treated soil and ensures a permanent and sustainable remediation effect. Technologies for the treatment of industrial wastes are also being developed. The company prides itself on its ‘holistic approach’ i.e., integrating engineering, ecology, social awareness and economy, to find the most suitable solution for a polluted site.
Partners Esotech d. d., Slovenia


Project reference LIFE12 ENV/SI/000969
Duration 01-JUL-2013 to 31-DEC -2018
Total budget 2,256,709.00 €
EU contribution 1,128,354.00 €
Project location Pomurska(Slovenia Slovenija) Podravska(Slovenia Slovenija) Koroska(Slovenia Slovenija) Savinjska(Slovenia Slovenija) Zasavska(Slovenia Slovenija) Spodnjeposavska(Slovenia Slovenija) Gorenjska(Slovenia Slovenija) Notranjsko-kraska(Slovenia Slovenija) Goriska(Slovenia Slovenija) Obalno-kraska(Slovenia Slovenija) Jugovzhodna Slovenija(Slovenia Slovenija) Osrednjeslovenska(Slovenia Slovenija) Extra-Regio(Slovenia Slovenija) Associated Slovenia (SLO)(Slovenia Slovenija)


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Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version