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Assessing the economic potential of landfill mining: Review and recommendations
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Environmental Technology and Management. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering. Univ Antwerp, Belgium.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Environmental Technology and Management. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Environmental Technology and Management. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
Univ Antwerp, Belgium.
2019 (English)In: DETRITUS, ISSN 2611-4127, Vol. 8, p. 125-140Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

As landfill mining (LFM) gains public attention, systematic assessment of its economic potential is deemed necessary. The aim of this review is to critically analyze the usefulness and validity of previous economic assessments of LFM. Following the life cycle costing (LCC) framework, (i) the employed methods based on goal and scope, technical parameters and data inventory, and modelling choices were contrasted with respect to (ii) the synthesized main findings based on net profitability and economic performance drivers. Results showed that the selected studies (n=15) are mostly case study-specific and concluded that LFM has a weak economic potential, hinting at the importance of favorable market and regulation settings. However, several method issues are apparent as costs and revenues are accounted at different levels of aggregation, scope and scale-from process to sub-process level, from private to societal economics, and from laboratory to pilot-scale, respectively. Moreover, despite the inherent large uncertainties, more than half of the studies did not perform any uncertainty or sensitivity analyses posing validity issues. Consequently, this also limits the usefulness of results as individual case studies and as a collective, towards a generic understanding of LFM economics. Irrespective of case study-specific or generic aims, this review recommends that future assessments should be learning-oriented. That is, uncovering granular information about what builds up the net profitability of LFM, to be able to systematically determine promising paths for the development of cost-efficient projects.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
CISA PUBLISHER , 2019. Vol. 8, p. 125-140
Keywords [en]
Economic assessment; Life cycle costing; Landfill mining; Landfill management
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-163965DOI: 10.31025/2611-4135/2019.13883ISI: 000504065300011OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-163965DiVA, id: diva2:1412325
Note

Funding Agencies|European Training Network for Resource Recovery Through Enhanced Landfill Mining (NEW-MINE) under the European Unions EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020European Union (EU) [721185]

Available from: 2020-03-05 Created: 2020-03-05 Last updated: 2020-04-29
In thesis
1. Economics of Landfill Mining: Usefulness and Validity of Different Assessment Approaches
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Economics of Landfill Mining: Usefulness and Validity of Different Assessment Approaches
2020 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Landfill mining (LFM) is an alternative strategy to manage landfills that integrates remediation with secondary resource recovery. At present, LFM remains as an emerging concept with a few pilot-scale project implementations, which presents challenges when assessing its economic performance. These challenges include large knowledge deficits about the individual processes along the LFM process chain, lack of know-how in terms of project implementation and economic drivers, and limited applicability of results to specific case studies. Based on how these challenges were addressed, this thesis aims to analyze the usefulness and validity of different economic assessments of LFM towards the provision of better support for decision-making and in-depth learning for the development of cost-efficient projects. Different studies were analyzed including the previous studies through a systematic literature review and the factor-based method that is developed in this thesis. Four categories of economic assessment approaches were derived in terms of the study object that is about either an individual LFM project (case-study specific) or multiple LFM projects in a region (generic); and in terms of the extent of analysis that is about either the identification of the net economic potential (decision-oriented) or extended towards an in-depth learning of what builds up such result (learning-oriented). Across the different approaches, most of the previous studies have questionable usefulness and validity. The unaddressed parametric uncertainties exclude the influence of using inherently uncertain input data due to large knowledge deficits. While the narrowly accounted scenario uncertainties limits the fact that LFM can be done in various ways and settings in terms of site selection, project set-up and regulatory and market conditions. In essence, these uncertainties propagate from case-study specific to generic study object. From decision-oriented to learning-oriented studies, the identification of what builds up the result are unsystematically determined that raises issues on their subsequent recommendations for improvement based on superficially derived economic drivers. The factor-based method, with exploratory scenario development and global sensitivity analysis, is presented as an approach to performing generic and learning-oriented studies. As for general recommendations, applied research is needed to aid large knowledge deficits, methodological rigor is needed to account for uncertainties and systematically identify economic drivers, and learningoriented assessment is needed to facilitate future development of LFM. This thesis highlights the important role of economic assessments, which is not only limited for the assessment of economic potential but also for learning and guiding the development of emerging concepts such as LFM.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2020. p. 86
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Licentiate Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 1876
Keywords
Economic assessment, Uncertainty management, Landfill management, Landfill mining
National Category
Environmental Management
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-165391 (URN)10.3384/lic.diva-165391 (DOI)9789179298524 (ISBN)
Presentation
2020-05-19, Online and Holken, A Building, Campus Valla, Linköping, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
EU, Horizon 2020, 721185
Available from: 2020-04-29 Created: 2020-04-29 Last updated: 2020-04-29Bibliographically approved

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