What to do with all that sand

May 11, 2009 4:56:16 AM PDT
Here's something you probably never thought of as you watched video of people sandbagging to protect their communities from flooding: what do they do with all that sand after the waters drop?

That's what city leaders in Fargo, N.D, and Moorhead, Minn., are mulling after their recent face-off with the Red River. They have 6 million sandbags between them to deal with.

The environmental chief of North Dakota's health department says most of the sand can be recycled and reused if it's not contaminated with sewage or petroleum products. Fargo is expected to use most of it as a barrier on top of its plastic liner at the landfill. Moorhead plans to use its sand for icy roads and other projects.

Then there's Mandan, N.D., which was forced to use a sand-salt mixture for up to 10,000 of its sandbags when sand became scarce. Officials there are now trying to collect them for fear the salt could hurt grass and gardens.

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