Systematic evaluation of critical factors for the climate impact of landfill minin

Conference Dates

June 5-10, 2016


In Europe several hundreds of thousands of old landfills exist, which are associated with long-term environmental impacts, extensive aftercare periods, and land-use restrictions potentially interfering with regional development plans. The potential of landfill mining for mitigating environmental pollution and valorising deposited wastes via material and energy recovery was investigated in various studies addressing ecologic and/or economic implications of landfill mining. With respect to global warming, some studies identified landfill mining as a net contributor, while others indicated that landfill mining results in a lower climate impact compared to the do-nothing alternative. Although all of these studies state that the actual environmental performance of landfill mining depends on various case-specific factors, so far a systematic assessment of the importance of individual factors for the environmental impact of landfill mining is missing. This research gap is addressed by the present study, which aims to quantitatively assess the importance of specific factors and conditions for the contribution of landfill mining to global warming. Therefore, we identify site-specific factors, project settings and system conditions, which are potentially relevant for the climate impact of a landfill mining project (cf. Figure 1). Based on the investigation of the influence of these factors, settings, and conditions, respectively, on a landfill mining’s contribution to global warming, we discuss the practical implications of our findings in terms of strategies and measures for implementation of landfill mining.

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