Beneficial Reuse

The Port is leading efforts to beneficially reuse sediment dredged from the Cuyahoga River. Traditionally sediment was treated as waste and disposed of in lakefront landfills.  The Port has developed a sustainable program to use sediment in a variety of ways from brownfield cleanups to beach nourishment. The facility, which is been penned as the Port of Cleveland’s Sediment Processing & Management Facility (SPMF), has been a model for the State of Ohio. As a result, since July 2020, state law has banned the open lake placement of sediments.

This initiative saves dollars that would otherwise be spent on sediment disposal and puts a natural resource to good use in the community.

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) collaborated closely with the Port, utilizing our research studies to confirm that harvested bedload sediments are suitable for unrestricted upland purposes, which cause minimal, if any, environmental impact. Since October 2012, the Port bed load interceptor has harvested 8,000 tons of sediment which has been used for various beneficial purposes. One example of use is using the harvested material to fill basements of homes scheduled for demolition.

The Port of Cleveland continues to work with various stakeholders to evaluate opportunities that extend the life of the existing CDF, ultimately looking beyond 2032 as a long-term, stable and predictable solution to manage dredged sediment. This is critical to stakeholders that depend on our shipping channels to support their business supply chains.

Firms interested in purchasing beneficial reuse material should be directed to our site operator’s and partner’s website.