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Commitment Detail

Title:
European Enhanced Landfill Mining Consortium
Acronym:
EURELCO
Objectives of the commitment:
To be a an open, quadruple helix (multi-stakeholder) network that supports the required technological, legal, social, economic, environmental and organisational innovation with respect to Enhanced Landfill Mining within the context of a transition to a circular, low carbon economy. Definition: Enhanced Landfill Mining is defined as “the safe exploration, conditioning, excavation and integrated valorisation of (historic, present and/or future) landfilled waste streams as both materials (Waste-to-Material, WtM) and energy (Waste-to-Energy, WtE), using innovative transformation technologies and respecting the most stringent social and ecological criteria.” (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2012.05.021). ELFM is part of a wider view of a circular economy and is perfectly complementary to urban mining and recycling in general.
Description of the activities:
Its main tasks are to be a network that:
• maps and shares information on the current level and future potential of Enhanced Landfill Mining projects and programmes in the EU’s Member States;
• further elaborates Enhanced Landfill Mining and integrates it with both traditional recycling/urban mining and other landfill mining concepts such as temporary storage places, bioreactors, and sustainable landfilling;
• keeps track and stimulates the innovation in science and technology for exploration, excavation, separation/recovery, transformation/upcycling in view of improved resource utilisation efficiency;
• analyses national and EU Landfill and Waste/Materials Management legislation and develops policy guidelines for improved legislation frameworks (revised EU Waste Hierarchy) and economic incentives in line with the expected public benefits of ELFM;
• develops and applies scientifically based methods for evaluating ELFM in terms of social, environmental and economic impacts, from a local, regional to global perspective;
• develops and executes ELFM research, demonstration and coordination projects;
• disseminates the technological and non-technological features of ELFM to a diversity of audiences including local communities.
Description of the expected impacts:
The expected impact of EURELCO (and the initiatives derived from/through it) is that by 2020 Enhanced Landfill Mining is implemented EU wide as a key component of a resource efficient, circular and low carbon economy. The EU’s 150.000 to 500.000 landfills provide for a substantial part of the EU’s material, energy and land needs. EURELCO will pave the way for breakthrough exploration, separation, transformation and upcycling technologies that are also used for recycling/urban mining of newly produced waste and residues.

Impact:
• Breakthrough innovation in novel technologies (e.g. Advanced Dry Separation, Gasplasma treatment as new BAT for treatment of MSW and produced RDF from landfills, Upcycling technologies (e.g. New geopolymer binder technology, New technology for multifunctional (insulating) building block from recycled RUSW streams replacing OPC)
• Secondary raw materials brought back into economic cycle
• Reduced eco-impact (Lower the overall CO2 emissions, > 2800-6000 km2 Land reclamation available again for nature or other purposes, Avoiding human health issues in the future associated with landfill pollution problems, Reducing health impact associated with primary mining)
• Economic savings and social aspects (Avoidance of future landfill remediation costs for EU-28 Governments, Job creation in the ELFM industry
• Improved knowledge of transfer (Organisation of Multi-Stakeholder Participation Platform facilitating Transfer of EU Guidelines, Clear interaction with local communities and end-users of recyclates (cement and concrete industry in particular))
Innovation outcomes:
New products to the market, New technologies, Societal innovation, Other
Comments:
Over the past years the concept of (Enhanced) Landfill Mining has gradually obtained more coverage and credibility. In Flanders a multi-actor research consortium was set up to further develop the concept and to initiate research and pilot projects. Two international symposia on Enhanced Landfill Mining have been successfully organised, there is a growing literature on the topic and several national research projects are running in Flanders, Wallonia, the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Austria, Greece, Finland, Denmark, the Baltic Region etc. In Flanders the Public Waste Agency has developed an ambitious landfill mining programme and is preparing a comprehensive ELFM policy plan for its 2000 landfills. Despite the fact that landfill mining has been explicitly mentioned in the EIT Factsheet for the launch of a new EIT KIC Call on Raw Materials, we also witness that the commercial breakthrough of a disruptive concept such as ELFM is not straightforward, due to the still limited size of the EU market for recycled resources (materials, gas, heat, power), the small scale (and higher cost) of operation compared to primary raw materials processing and vested interests in existing industrial sectors (e.g. cement and incineration industry. This is the rationale for the establishment of EURELCO, which will consist of influential and visionary people from government departments (included Public Waste Agencies), academia, industry and civil society.
Name:
KU Leuven
Country:
Belgium
Entity profile:
Academia
Other:
Role within the commitment:
Coordinator.
He is in charge of the overall coordination and will be supported by a Management Support Team (MST). He chairs the Steering Committee and General Assembly meetings. The key role of this person is to allow the Consortium to prosper, in an atmosphere of confidence. He/she is an ambassador for the Consortium and is willing to speak at a diversity of venues in order to put ELFM on the map.
Other partners:
  • Name of partner: 
    Stena Metall
    Country: 
    Sweden
    Entity profile: 
    Private sector - large company
    Role within the commitment: 
    Member, to lead and/or carry out the activities as described in section 3.2
  • Name of partner: 
    Group Machiels
    Country: 
    Belgium
    Entity profile: 
    Private sector - large company
    Role within the commitment: 
    Member, to lead and/or carry out the activities as described in section 3.2.
  • Name of partner: 
    VTT
    Country: 
    Finland
    Entity profile: 
    Other
    Other: 
    Strategic Research Centre
    Role within the commitment: 
    Member, to contribute in carrying out the activities described in section 3.2.
  • Name of partner: 
    VITO nv
    Country: 
    Belgium
    Entity profile: 
    Other
    Other: 
    Research and Technology Organisation
    Role within the commitment: 
    Member, with a focus on separation and recovery of valuable and critical raw materials (e.g. metals) from landfilled industrial residues by hydrometallurgical routes with the aim to recycle both the recovered metals as well as the matrix material. This approach requires innovative processes in which we provide: (i) physical separation technology with a focus on fine grained (mineral) materials; (ii) modelling of solid waste physical separation (industrial) processes towards process optimisation; (iii) hydrometallurgical separation by state-of-the-art equipment and techniques; (iv) hydrometallurgical recovery by electrochemical selective recovery of critical metals from (leaching) solutions using bio- or chemical catalysts; (v) conversion of fine waste streams into optimised materials for re- and upcycling; (vi) valorisation of matrix material to high value (construction) products by means of reactor technology (e.g. carbonation), ceramic powder treatment (e.g. 3D shaping), etc. (vii) Environmental assessment of waste materials and recovered secondary raw materials; (viii) Environmental Health Impact Assessment of ELFM activities; (ix) Life cycle assessment and development of new business cases with regard to landfill mining
  • Name of partner: 
    Linköping University
    Country: 
    Sweden
    Entity profile: 
    Academia
    Role within the commitment: 
    Member, to lead and/or carry out the activities as described in section 3.2.
Existing EU contribution:
No
Source:
Period to implement the commitment:
11/03/2014 to 11/03/2020