New research promises to remove harmful PCB toxins from soil in a safer and cheaper way than existing technology.

"Soil cleanup — PCB soil cleanup — that's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it," said Gopal Achari, who leads the research team from the University of Calgary and Southern Alberta Institute of Technology.

Currently, contaminated soil must be dug up, hauled away and burned at one of two facilities in Canada at a cost of roughly $1,000 per tonne.

Now a new method could help clean up the chemicals on the spot using a simple chemical and light.

  • Watch the video above for more on the story from CBC's Colleen Underwood.