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Over decades, Sweden’s coast and harbour areas have been contaminated from shipping, watercourses and air. The contamination which often occurs in harbour areas consists, for example, of heavy metals, TBT (tributyltin) and PCB. The need to dredge in Sweden and in our Nordic neighbour countries during the next few years will include dealing with millions of cubic metres of dredged material. An inventory indicates that the present volume of contaminated soil in Sweden amounts to about 1,500,000 m3 (Magnusson et al, 2006). This inventory only applies to a limited number of harbours (40) and does not include dredging material from fairways or from contaminated sediment in other water areas.

The current predominant method for the treatment of contaminated soil/sediments is removal. The conventional method of handling dredged material is to dump it further out to sea, deposit it in bays inside levees or at landfills. The stabilisation/solidification (S/S) method is based on immobilisation of contaminants by chemical fixation, solidification and/or chemical reaction. The mobility of the contaminants is substantially reduced and hence, their influence on the surroundings is reduced. From a geotechnical point of view, the S/S method increases the strength of the material and improves its deformation properties. As a result, S/S treated contaminated sediments and dredged material can be used for areas on land or harbour sites for future activities and applications.
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