Dredged sediment; waste or resource?

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Abstract

It is estimated that only 1% of the 200 million cubic metres of sediments1 that are dredged from Europe’s ports and waterways are reclaimed, with the remainder disposed of at sea or in landfills. As periodic dredging is necessary to maintain navigation in ports, canals and rivers, reduction of this sizable waste stream is focused on finding beneficial uses for dredgings, including through their incorporation in erosion and flood control projects. The European Union (EU)-funded SURICATES Project is a collaboration between port authorities, research institutes, SMEs and universities to demonstrate dredged sediment reuse for key infrastructure projects in Northwest Europe. Through pilot trials it seeks to address the physical, environmental and economic barriers to effective sediment reuse and to implement tools for sediment managers to quantify the impacts and benefits of different reuse options.

Keywords

  • dredging
  • sediment uses
  • waste management

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