You may have heard the Australia approved a substantial enlargement of the seaport of Abbot Point, which is going to be made into the biggest coal port on the planet. This development will cause the extraction of over ninety million cubic feet of debris from the port and the sea, and all this sludge will be dropped in close proximity to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, the unique World Heritage site.
This load of sludge is so much that if we would drop this heap of dredged material on land, it is going to be bigger than the world famous Pyramid of Giza in Egypt.
Disposing of this waste in the region of the Great Barrier Reef will certainly damage this unique marine life, and famous tourist attraction. The Great Barrier Reef generates over $5.7 billion every year, and dumping such a massive load of dirt in this region could put the area’s World Heritage listing at risk.
But let’s face it, there is a significantly better solution to get rid of the sludge. The best way to remove the waste is by using innovative de-watering techniques like the geotube-container approach designed by Dutch company TenCate that will very efficiently deal with the sludge. This cutting edge geotube technique uses tubular-shaped containers made of permeable geotextiles that allow water to leak through, while solid materials stay inside the container. All over the world, geotubes are used as de-watering solutions for waste from ports, lagoons, canals and rivers.
The methodology is relatively new and uncomplicated: the extracted waste material is placed into the Geotubes, and then eco friendly polymers are blended with the waste. The solid materials will bind together with the polymers and the water seeps out from the containers. The solid waste is securely kept in the geotube containers, which will be simply taken away to be used for dykes, or shipped for removal or additional treatment.
This revolutionary geotube technological innovation is perhaps not generally known yet, but it has already been used in thousands of places all over the world. Actually, we think it is a little strange that so far nobody has come up with this impressive solution to get rid of this massive mountain of sludge in order to save Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Take a look, and share this nice infographic to spread the word about this ecologically risk-free solution to protect the Great Barrier Reef from destruction.