Enhanced landfill mining, concept and challenges

Joakim Krook
University of Linköping

Enhanced landfill mining (ELFM) is an emerging concept that connects the vision of circular economy with the need to use land more effectively and for purposes that contribute to sustainable development. It bears on the fact that Europe holds more than 500,000 landfills of which the majority is non-sanitary municipal solid waste landfills, lacking modern environmental technology.

Beyond that these poorly equipped deposits generate local, regional and global environmental impacts as well as drosscapes of urban land, they contain massive amounts of obsolete materials that could be brought back to use in society. To prevent unwanted environmental and health effects, many of these old landfills will sooner or later need extensive remediation and aftercare.