When Helsingborg exploits arable land, a mass surplus is almost always generated. Some inorganic masses are reused, but the topsoil is most often left over and must be taken care of, a management that is cost-driving and becomes more and more difficult when reception places shine with their absence. The content is that the topsoil that belongs to Sweden's (the world?) Best ends up in landfills or in noise barriers and is then consumed forever.



Between 2010-2015, 4,700 hectares of arable land were exploited in Skåne alone. Assume that figure has not decreased in the pace of housing construction in recent years. In 2014, a mass calculation was made for Tyrens for the Östra Ramlösa area. The calculation showed a surplus of topsoil of 543,000 m3.

There will be a lot of lots that could create value like this instead:

  • Poorly usable land can suddenly deliver first-class harvests, perhaps even several per year.
  • The world's growing population will require more grain, this contributes greatly.
  • Plants that are grown can bind carbon dioxide, which reduces the greenhouse effect.
  • The soil can bind more liquid and contribute to a delay in case of heavy rainfall.
  • We get use for our surplus masses and the really polluted masses get a place in our landfills.



What we are exploring is reusing the topsoil as the resource it has been for us here in the Nordic countries. Could we unload and transport by boat to some Mediterranean area where the land is poor in nutrients and unusable? Boat transport of shafts has been tested in other contexts (decontamination of BT Kemi etc.). Or are there other parts of the country that have needs that we can work with to take advantage of this resource? We'll find out!

Perhaps the city can, before the eyes of the world during H22, send the first boat away from one of the H + piers or that during H22 we offer the participants something that has been harvested on the Scanian soil in Portugal.

Any obstacles? Yes, a hell of a lot!

EU bureaucracy will be required to implement this. The fact that we Swedes have a bad habit of calling surplus masses "Waste" does not make the question any easier.

Can you even transport topsoil by boat without it being destroyed by sea salt? Over time, topsoil in storage loses its organic capacity - do you have time to transport it before this happens?

There is a lot to explore!


Impact target

What we are exploring is reusing the topsoil as the resource it has been for us here in the Nordic countries.

  • Driven by

    The City Building Administration

  • Category

    Climate & Environment

  • Sector

    Food, Environment, City building, Urban planning


Name: Magnus Kjellsson
E-mail: magnus.kjellsson@helsingborg.se