Improving soil by using river sludge

River sludge is often regarded as waste and is dumped in landfills or used for low-quality applications such as making lakes shallower. However, sludge contains raw materials that may be valuable for improving the soil quality of agricultural land. Therefore, Rijkswaterstaat (the Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management) initiated a project to explore opportunities for using river sludge as a soil improver. In cooperation with the Nutrient Management Institute, Witteveen+Bos compiled a picture of the present market for soil improvers. A workshop held with water managers, dredgers, agricultural cooperatives and fertiliser suppliers examined the opportunities that exist for marketing river sludge. A business canvas was drawn up to serve as a basis for further product and market development aimed at using river sludge as a raw material for improving soil.

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