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3 Reasons Why Sawdust isn’t the Solution When it Comes to Hydro Excavation Waste

01 February 2019

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Hydro excavation is a highly-effective process- one that is non-destructive and reduces many of the risks and costs that come with traditional digging methods. Yet, the waste that comes as a result of the process remains tricky for many. The thixotropic make-up of hydro excavation waste means that it will be accepted at very few landfills in its current state.  To combat this, many processors add other components such as sawdust, wood chippings and various other materials designed to absorb the liquid part of the waste, making it admissible for landfill disposal.

However, we don’t believe this is the best solution and here’s 3 simple reasons why:

1. It’s worse for the environment

In many industries we can see fundamental changes designed to make processes, products and services more environmentally friendly. Take the plastic problem for example- It was reported just this week (30th January) that UK-based water brand Highland Spring have launched a 100% recyclable water bottle.[1] The plastic problem is perhaps the most talked about environmental problem of the last 5 years but little by little we are seeing progress. Similarly, we must strive to find environmentally viable solutions for daylighting waste. Adding other materials to absorb the liquid part of the waste only means that more waste is being sent to landfill. With landfill space running out and leachate becoming a major threat, we are harming the environment by not thinking more intelligently about our disposal methods.


2. It’s costly

This one’s a no brainer! By adding sawdust or other substances you not only increase overheads by purchasing the materials designed for drying the waste, but you also increase the weight of the waste sent to landfill. Increased weight means increased costs, not to mention the transport costs incurred to reach the landfill site.


3. It takes away your control

Asides from cost and environmental factors, a major reason that many processors are moving away from adding solids to their liquid waste is that this method gives them less control. Processors are reliant on landfill owners who can raise fees or shut at any point, leaving them with a difficult decision on where to dispose of their waste. By processing the waste, daylighting companies take back control and even recover sand and other products for reuse or resale.

There are more efficient ways out there than adding materials to the waste for disposal- solutions that are cost-effective, environmentally friendly and give processors back the control.

For more information, get in touch or visit our solutions page to find out more.


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[1] CIWM, Highland Spring Launches 100% Recycled Bottle After Successful Trial, [Accessed 30/01/2019]