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Environmental innovation that serves society
Urban Mining: Extracting resources from landfills
| Projects

The study analyses the potential of landfill mining in Spanish landfills. This concept refers to the recovery of material that is deposited in landfills to be used as secondary materials or, when this is not possible, for energy reuse.

The objectives of the project were:

  • To estimate the amount of waste potentially recoverable deposited in Spanish landfills.
  • To assess the maturity of the existing technologies for resource extraction from landfills.
  • To identify criteria to be met by landfills to be considered capable of being subject to a landfill mining project.
  • To analyse if landfill mining could help Spain’s commitments on climate change mitigation.

The study concludes that there is potential to apply landfill mining processes in Spain, but further research would be needed to determine which specific landfills would be most suitable. It is also concluded that the available technologies are considered sufficiently developed to undertake such projects and that these would mean an economic opportunity with the creation of a significant number of jobs and reducing the external dependency on imports of certain raw materials, especially metals and rare earths. Landfill mining would also contribute to reaching the Spanish commitments to mitigate climate change.

Authorship
Fundació ENT
Date
2012
Client
Fundación Mapfre
Report