A mining company in Sudbury is using an alternative to cement to build a wall to block the sounds of industry.

The environmental superintendent with Xstrata Nickel's Falconbridge smelter said the practice is being used by companies in Quebec and Europe.

"It's made all out of natural materials and it's a soil core," Chad Pearson said.

"The natural cedar frame holds the soil together along with the geotextile and, as the willows root in the spring, they'll actually form the structural stability, compressing the wall together."

Pearson says it cost the same amount to make a living wall instead of a concrete wall.