When the shooting party is over, who clears up the mess?

Practically every Swiss community has a shooting range that will need to be decontaminated in the years ahead. The requirements in force depend on the location.

The Swiss Federal Office for the Environment’s regulations for remediating former shooting ranges are clear, but the implementation guidelines and provisions vary significantly according to the canton. We provide comprehensive advice to municipalities on the technical and legal approach to be taken when decontaminating shooting ranges. We will also help you to apply for financial compensation.

Our services:

  • Historical and technical investigations of bullet traps and shooting ranges
  • Surveying heavy-metal contamination in the soil and ground, detailed mapping of soil contamination presented in plans and using Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
  • Developing decontamination projects and cost estimates for site remediation
  • Planning and submitting bullet-trap decontamination plans including building permit and clearing approval procedures
  • Construction management and specialist construction management for bullet-trap decontamination projects (excavation, triage, disposal, recultivation and monitoring these processes)
  • Evaluation and documentation
  • Assisting municipalities to access compensation (registering for financial support from the federal and cantonal governments).

Your contact in German-speaking Switzerland:

Lars Schudel Project manager: Contaminated sites/ Deputy divisional manager: Environmental planning
Certified Geographer
lschudel@ecosens.ch +41 44 839 47 40 More

Your contact in French-speaking Switzerland:

Stefan Fuchs Partner, Fribourg branch manager
Diploma in Geological Sciences BENEFRI UniFR Geologist CHGEOL
sfuchs@ecosens.ch +41 26 422 39 55 More

Case studies

Detailed mapping of soil contamination and remediation projects for Albisgüetli shooting range, Zurich

On the Albisgüetli in Zurich Wiedikon, various shooting ranges with a total of over 300 targets as well as a hunting range, have been operated for over 100 years. As a result of the many years of shooting, enormous amounts of pollutants have accumulated in the soil over a large area. The Office for Waste, Water, Energy and Air (AWEL) classified these polluted sites as in need of remediation and requested the City of Zurich to initiate the necessary measures.


300 m shooting range Hittenberg, Wald: Project planning, tendering and remediation of contaminated sites

The old and new bullet traps at the Hittenberg shooting range in Wald are located at the edge of a forest and have not been in operation for about 20 years. Due to the high lead contamination, the bullet traps are listed in the cadastre of contaminated sites and have been classified by the canton of Zurich as requiring remediation.


300 m and 400 m bullet trap shooting range Neuholz, Wald

The Neuholz in Wald (ZH) shooting range includes a 300 m bullet trap that is still in use, as well as an old 400 m bullet trap, which was used until around 1930. Both bullet traps are hundreds of metres away from the nearest street. For the contaminated site remediation of the two bullet traps, economic development and construction site logistics presented the major challenges.


Sennenberg shooting range - Project development, submission and site remediation

Wald Municipality (ZH) was obliged to remediate the bullet trap of the Sennenberg shooting range on a steep and remote slope in the agricultural zone, taking previous contamination into account.


300 m shooting range at Oberlaupen, Wald, project development, submission and site remediation

Remediation of bullet trap, in line with statutory site decontamination requirements, at the decommissioned Oberlaupen shooting range, which is situated on a steep hillside in a forested area of agricultural land. The exposed position of the bullet trap represented a huge challenge in terms of logistics and accessing the site. The work to remediate the site included removing and disposing of almost 1,000 tons of heavily contaminated material from the bullet trap. Following the clean up, the area was recultivated in line with the surrounding habitat and trees were replanted.


Decontamination project and site remediation for 50 m and 300 m shooting ranges at Sohr, Windisch

The municipality of Windisch needed to remediate the 50 and 300 m bullet trap at the decommissioned Sohr shooting range in line with statutory site decontamination requirements. Due to its position in the agricultural zone, the remediation work entailed breaking up all concrete structures and recultivating high-grade agricultural land. Ecosens AG provided support to the municipality of Windisch at all stages of the project, from planning to implementation.


Warpel 300 m shooting range, Embrach, Project to remediate a contaminated site

The backstop for Warpel’s 300 m shooting range in Embrach is situated in the Warpel valley, a fenland area of national significance.


Talmatt 300 m shooting range, Volketswil, Detailed assessment of contaminated site and remediation project

The Talmatt shooting range in Volketswil was deemed to require remediation and entered in the Register of Contaminated Sites.


Dürrenbach 25 m und 50 m shooting ranges, Volketswil, Project to remediate a contaminated site

The Dürrenbach shooting range includes a 50 m and a 25 m backstop. It borders a forest to the north and the east and is in the immediate vicinity of a stream to the west.