Cuttings are defined as the excavated material that is removed during the drilling process. Cuttings are carried out via drilling fluid which is usually processed to remove solid material after exiting the bore. In dry drilling operations, such as some tunnel boring machine applications, cuttings are removed via a conveyor belt. Some microtunneling applications use a vacuum to remove unwanted cuttings.
Cuttings may also be referred to as spoils.
Trenchlesspedia Explains Cuttings
After being filtered and processed from the drilling fluid, cuttings can be disposed of in landfills. However, the overwhelming majority of processed cuttings are found to be suitable for reuse in agricultural or construction settings. With suitable soil cuttings and environmentally friendly drilling fluid, cuttings can be recycled into these applications without the need for processing.
In order to determine the proper means of disposal or recycling, an on-site investigation needs to take place to test the cuttings for contamination and density.