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Circular dredging consortium

With: tba

Status: Start January 2023 - December 2024


In a joint chain project,  chain partners as possible will work over the next 2 years on 8 challenges that currently stand in the way of large-scale production and use of paving. These vary from organizing the logistical supply of dredged material, making an inventory of which types of dredged material can be used in what way, to designing a widely supported circular tendering process for both dredging and the purchase of circular building materials. We see an important role for governments, the clients of both dredging activities and construction projects.


A new piece of street for Gemeente Rotterdam

With: Gemeente Rotterdam

Status: Completed in 2022

After some designing and production, our tiles for Gemeente Rotterdam were finally delivered and placed on location! A bus stop in the neighbourhood of Reyeroord got a complete makeover with some beautiful water-passing tiles. It was great to see our tiles perfectly fit in the environment. We also had the opportunity to observe as the tiles were being placed. During this process we got some feedback from the workers on what they thought about working with our tiles. It is very important to consider everyone in the life cycle of street tiles! We hope in the future more and more places can get a makeover with some dredge tiles.


Improving the accessibility of waterworks with dredge

For: Water authority Hollandse Delta 

Status: Completed in 2022

To maintain your waterworks as a water authority you need to keep them accessible.This was the case for the employees of the water authority Hollandse Delta, who had to routinely check and maintain a weir at the Peltersdijk in Brielle. However, there was no space to park their car. When approached with the question, we were thrilled to produce a space for them to be able to easily access the pumping station, while at the same time testing our own product on location and being able to bring our material to the next level. The synergy of this project is undeniable, as the employees perform checks on the weir, they can at the same time also monitor the stones: meaning checking them and inform us on their state. It’s a win win! If you want to know more about the collaboration with the water authority of Hollandse Delta you can check their website. 


Towards e a circular dredging and construction chain

With support of: RVO

With whom: Martens, Baggerbedrijf Midden Nederland en Aquaminerals

Status: Completed in 2022

Making dredge tiles a reality in the construction sector requires more than simple technical research: the whole chain must be brought together. Within this project, we were able to research the needs of several important links in the chain: Martens joined as the producer of pavers; Baggerbedrijf Midden Nederland represented dredging companies and Aquaminerals represented the interests of the water authorities. 


In the course of several months, we organised sessions, together with Noorderwind, to discuss business models, finances, sustainability indicators, and much more with the three parties to really try to answer the question: how can we make this circular chain of dredge a reality? The conclusion was that there are many challenges in many different links of the chain that first need to be addressed before a profitable and sustainable circular chain using dredge as construction material can be established. So that’s what our next steps will be about! 

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Product design and stakeholder management: finding the middle ground

With support of: Stimuleringsfonds 

With whom: Gemeente Rotterdam, Gemeente Den Haag, Gemeente Amsterdam, 010 Toegankelijk, Van Gelder, Atelier van Berlo, Donkergroep, Martens, Dura Vermeer

Status: Completed in 2022

In the process of designing a new product, there are many stakeholders to take into account. For us specifically, these are the decision makers for paving projects in municipalities, the people working to place and maintain the tiles and the citizens who will use the tiles. Within this project we were able to talk to representatives of these groups to understand the design characteristics needed for our tiles. We settled on 3 different designs for different applications: one stone design for large spaces and squares, one stone design for parking spaces and one clinker-like stone design. Sustainability comes in many different forms, and for us it is also important to consider social sustainability and analyse the accessibility of our tiles. For this we had interesting conversations with 010Toegankelijk and together with them assessed which stone designs would be accessible for, for example, people on wheelchairs. 


This project required a lot of research and interviews, which all led to interesting findings. As part of the project, we also put together a white paper where general conclusions and advice is shared. Sharing knowledge is incredibly important if we want to advance to sustainable innovations, let us know if you find it helpful!


Building without emissions

With support of: RVO

With: TNO, Company New Heroes and 6 other innovators

Status: Started in June 2021


In 2021, we received a grant from TNO to be used to perform research for the company. On top of that, we were selected by them to participate in the Exploded View project, a building constructed with completely biobased and sustainable materials. We were very proud to visit the installation during the Dutch Design Week 2021 and the Floriade. 


But this was not the end of it, as part of this project we were introduced in a consortium of 6 other innovative material suppliers, namely: Blueblocks, Mogu, Exie, Scape Agency, Rik Makes and Omlab. Throughout the year we participated in many sessions together, discussing challenges on the topic specifically of building without emissions. At the same time, TNO did some fantastic material research for us. They analysed the tiles from a material’s perspective, checking the durability as well as other features. Furthermore, they also helped us with our Life Cycle Assessment and thanks to their input we were able to quantify our environmental impact. 

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The different scales of circularity

With support of: Stimuleringsfonds van de Creatieve Industrie - Duurzame Economie en Ruimte

Location: Almere

Status: Completed in 2022


Truly sustainable innovations do not stop at the material level, the whole life cycle of the products should be carefully analysed to make sure the environmental benefits outweigh the costs. This project was conducted in Almere to analyse what kind of impact the sustainable economy had on how space is used. Specifically, we researched the impact of different scenarios of scale: from using only local parties for supply and placement, to a more national scale. We used these scenarios to assess the impact on sustainability, costs and the use of space. The main conclusions from this research was about the difference in what working locally meant for different parties. Dredgers and municipalities, when they use the term ‘local’ they tend to think in terms of one small region. When pavers talk about ‘local’ instead, they mean working within the Netherlands.
There are quite different definitions of scale and we concluded that our solution should be somewhere in between, work as close as possible with our partners, if deliver and install,

provided the logistics and costs allow it.

Furthermore, as part of this project we also recorded and published a podcast about upscaling in the context of the circular economy. We interviewed entrepreneurs and experts and discussed what their strategies were when wanting to scale up, lessons learnt and obstacles faced. You can find it here. 


Testing and monitoring of new production techniques

Location: The green village 

Status: Completed in 2021


We are still busy working on figuring out the best production process for our material, and have tried a couple of ways so far. Continuing from a previous project at The Green Village in Delft, we made new tiles with two different processes. Within this little street the two different processes are being placed and compared. With this project, we were able to test the effect of weather conditions on the tiles throughout the year. We are currently still monitoring the tiles to gather even more insights on their durability and how they perform outside in the “wild”!  

Titel: Testen en monitoren van nieuwe productieprocessen


Building with dredge and a sustainable binder

For: Hoogheemraadschap Schieland en Krimpenerwaard, MIT Haalbaarheid, Duurzame Ondernemer Booster

With whom: With you? Do you move with us

Status: Completed in 2021

In the province of South Holland, every year 4 to 5 megatonnes of building materials are needed. There are currently few options for sustainable paving available. The water passing dredge tile that Waterweg makes is a product in which a waste flow and sustainable binder are combined into a scalable product for the construction sector. In this feasibility study, we want to answer questions about the economic, technical, and ecological feasibility of the use of geopolymers in this tile.


Waterweg wants to investigate the use of geopolymers in water passing paving of made from dredged sediments. A geopolymer is an activated alkaline aluminum silicate, a durable replacement for cement as a binder. A geopolymer is an activated alkaline aluminum silicate, a durable replacement for cement as a binder and can be produced from various residual flows. In addition to a significant reduction in emissions due to the use of dredging, the stone will be completely reusable. 


At the end of this project, a parking lot was delivered to the water authority HHSK. The binder research led to the conclusion that the binders need further research, and at the moment it is not yet market available. These conclusions led us to start a partnership with Resourceful, a research consultancy company, to further analyse the recipe of our tiles and lead to improvements in terms of material composition and sustainability. 

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Product design

For: Stimuleringsfonds voor de creatieve industrie

With whom: sparringpartners Catelijne van Middelkoop & Tessa Geuze

Status: finished in 2021

Our designer Wies van Lieshout devoted herself to the design of products made from dredge thanks to the support of the Stimuleringsfonds. Besides, focusing on technical development, we could take steps in the design of our product. We believe in the power of design and that there is a lot to be gained in the dredging and construction industry with regard to design. With the contribution of the Stimuleringsfonds, we can make the circular economy, more beautiful! Through this project, we were able to put together a proposal and access a subsidy to further research the role of design in satisfying different stakeholders and their wishes. 

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Circular purchasing process  

For: Province of South Holland

Status: Completed in 2021

We want to move beyond lab tests towards making a greater impact by working together with different partners. For that to happen, we want our partners to move towards a circular way of working, together with us. In this project, we researched for the province of Zuid-Holland  how they could implement circular purchasing practices for the pavers they buy. Furthermore, the province also engages in dredging projects which could also benefit from becoming circular. Within our research we included this aspect as well and gave advice on how the whole process could be made more circular. Part of our advice was to rethink how they execute their tendering process, and include options for circularity. Thanks to this research, the Province of Zuid-Holland were compelled to try a different tender which included circularity aspects, which we later participated in 2022. 


Upscaling of the production process

For: CityLab010

With whom: Municipality of Rotterdam and Nefrex

Status: Completion at the end of 2020

In this project for the municipality of Rotterdam, we process 15,000 kilos of dredged sediments into pavement for the city of Rotterdam. This is the first major production in collaboration with a factory and contractor. We learn about the upscaling of the production process and all relevant chain partners. In addition, we will actively engage in discussions with local residents to involve them in a climate-adaptive and circular living environment. You can read more about this project here. 


The first water passing pavement

For: the Water Authority of Delfland & Unie van Waterschappen

With whom: The Green Village and VP Delta

Status: Completed

The first tiled path made of dredged material has been opened on Waterstraat in Delft in October 2019. We made this product with our own hands with sludge from Delfland. We placed the stones at The Green Village in Delft where we were able to do different tests. The tests are still being monitored at the moment. You can read more here.


A feasibility study

For: the Water Authority of Delfland

Status: Completed

The first study we did after winning the BlueCity Circular Challenge was a feasibility study. Here, with the support of the Waterschap Delfland, we investigated the technical and economic feasibility of water passing paving of dredging tiles.


BlueCity Circular Challenge

For: BlueCity

With whom: Wies van Lieshout, Simon Schilt, Tessa Luijben & Eva Aarts

Status: Completed

Waterweg started after winning a design competition. We had to go from a waste stream to a revenue model in six weeks. In the BlueCity CircularChallenge, we were assigned the waste flow of dredged sediment from the Waterschap Delfland. We developed our first prototype of this waste stream: the water passing dredge tile. There the idea of Waterschap was born.  

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