Dredged Material as a Resource

“Facts About Dredged Material as a Resource” describes the true nature of dredged material, which contrary to common opinion, is usually clean and usable.

Dredged material is often described as dirty, unwanted soil – something that is unclean and needs to be disposed of. This is by and large erroneous. Dredged material is predominantly a clean, usable product. Only in limited, generally industrialised, places in the world are there appreciable quantities of dredged material that have been affected by industrial contaminants. By and large most dredged material is clean and can be used as a resource by project developers in effective and economic ways. Even lightly contaminated dredged material can be used if the environmental risks are low and site-specific conditions must be taken into account.   For heavily contaminated dredged material to be used, treatment will be necessary. To start, contaminants will need to be reduced, removed or immobilised before the dredged material can potentially be considered as a resource. Treatments may include: chemical or thermal immobilisation; bioremediation techniques; and biodegradation of organic contaminants. Not all dredged material is suitable as a resource, but in some countries, like Japan, more than 90 percent of dredged material is ultimately put to good use. Why is the use of dredged material so important? Because disposal and placement of dredged material remain extremely difficult issues in planning a dredging project when dredged material is perceived as unclean. When dredged material is acknowledged as clean and can be used as a resource it can support sound solutions. This will usually lead to win-win situations for the client, the public and the contractor, by lowering costs because disposal is no longer an issue and rebuilding beaches, wetlands and other parts of the environment. “Facts About Dredged Material as a Resource” answers essential questions such as:
  • Can Dredged Material really Be a Resource?
  • What are the benefits of using Dredged Material as a Resource?
  • Is using Dredged Material as a Resource cost-effective?
  • Can all Dredged Material be used as a Resource?
  • Can contaminated Dredged Material be used as a Resource?
  • When and where can Dredged Material be used as a Resource?
  • What are some examples of engineering uses?
  • What are some examples of environmental uses?
  • How can the supply of Dredged Material be matched with a demand?
  • What issues need to be considered when matching Dredged Material with a use option?
  • What is the role of stakeholders in finding uses for Dredged Material?
  • What is the role of the dredging industry in finding use options?
  • Is there regulation concerning the use of Dredged Material?
  • Can better legislation encourage using Dredged Material as a Resource?
  • Is using Dredged Material as a Resource always a suitable solution?
  • Is it worth the effort to use Dredged Material as a Resource?