Recycled sand can safely be used to bed free stalls on dairy farms,” concludes an on-farm study published in the December 2005 Journal of Dairy Science. The study found that the number of gram-negative bacteria, coliforms, Klebsiella, and Streptococcus in recycled sand was similar to that found in clean sand up to seven days after bedding was added.

If you use recycled sand for bedding, let it sit in piles for about one month before putting it in the stalls, advises Michaela Kristula at the University of Pennsylvania, one of the study’s authors. This helps increase the dry matter in the recycled sand. “When it comes to bedding, drier is always better,” Kristula says.