The NEW-MINE project will identify and develop enhanced landfill-mining technology to transform landfill waste into high-added-value products, such as fuel and building materials.
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There are 500 000 landfills in Europe, 90 % of which are non-sanitary and do not comply with current EU regulations. Their presence could lead to serious environmental problems in the near future, including water and soil pollution, and could even endanger human health.
The solutions considered to date are either unworkable or too costly. For example, traditional remediation of non-regulation landfill sites involves extracting the waste, sanitising the landfill, and replacing the waste. This is an expensive process and does not solve the problem at hand.
The EU-funded NEW-MINE project is training 15 early-stage researchers to develop novel methodologies and technologies to transform landfilled waste into value-added products, thereby contributing to the circular and low-carbon economies.
The researchers will develop novel, sensor-based waste-separation methods, new solar energy and/or plasma-driven thermochemical conversion methods, and green alternatives to traditional cement. NEW-MINE will foster a value-chain approach for cost-effective, environment-friendly landfill-mining practices.
Once the project has finished, NEW-MINEs 15 researchers are expected to be sought-after scientists and engineers, able to contribute to the rapidly emerging landfill-mining and recycling industries. This project will also help to establish the EU as a global leader in terms of innovative resource recovery and circular economy strategies.