Business Focus: Harbour Dredgings & Disposal

dredging contamination

Dredging is a fundamental activity for most ports and harbours typically undertaken to maintain navigation, improve flood control or as part of wider development projects.

In the UK, approximately 40 million tonnes of dredged material are annually disposed of to the marine environment. The greater proportion of dredged material is disposed of in suitable estuarine or coastal water environments. However, a smaller proportion is often contaminated by human activity to such an extent that disposal at sea would pose a significant threat to marine life. Typically, contaminated dredged material is transported and dumped in a landfill which brings with it its own challenges.

It is recognised then, that where contaminated dredged material is encountered the consideration of alternative disposal options is required. In order to service the UK’s marine industry, Dunton Environmental has developed a unique solution that combines dewatering techniques, separation of size fractions, and destruction of contaminants (including biological and chemical) that allows sustainable re-use of dredging spoil.

The technologies described above were employed during a unique dredging challenge at Falmouth Marina in Cornwall for Land & Water Services. The silt being unsuitable for disposal at sea due to the local oyster and mussel beds. The contaminated spoil was transported in sealed lorries to our Waste Treatment Centre where, after treatment, it was used in the restoration of a former quarry landfill.

For more information on our unique products or about how we can assist with your waste arisings please contact us.