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A new dawn for buried garbage?: An investigation of the marketability of previously disposed shredder waste
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Environmental Technology and Management. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3137-1571
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.
2017 (English)In: Waste Management, ISSN 0956-053X, E-ISSN 1879-2456, Vol. 60, 417-427 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper examines the market potential of disposed shredder waste, a resource that is increasingly emphasized as a future mine. A framework with gate requirements of various outlets was developed and contrasted with a pilot project focusing on excavated waste from a shredder landfill, sorted in an advanced recycling facility. Only the smallest fraction by percentage had an outlet, the metals (8%), which were sold according to a lower quality class. The other fractions (92%) were not accepted for incineration, as construction materials or even for re-deposition. Previous studies have shown similar lack of marketability. This means that even if one fraction can be recovered, the outlet of the other material is often unpredictable, resulting in a waste disposal problem, which easily prevents a landfill mining project altogether. This calls for marketability and usability of deposited waste to become a central issue for landfill mining research. The paper concludes by discussing how concerned actors can enhance the marketability, for example by pre-treating the disposed waste to acclimatize it to existing sorting methods. However, for concerned actors to become interested in approaching unconventional resources such as deposited waste, greater regulatory flexibility is needed in which, for example, re-deposition could be allowed as long as the environmental benefits of the projects outweigh the disadvantages.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 60, 417-427 p.
Keyword [en]
Landfill mining; Disposed waste; Marketability; Policy; Technology
National Category
Mineral and Mine Engineering Public Administration Studies Environmental Sciences Geology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-129541DOI: 10.1016/j.wasman.2016.05.015ISI: 000397357100043PubMedID: 27216727OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-129541DiVA: diva2:940378
Funder
VINNOVA
Note

Funding agencies: Swedish Innovation Agency, VINNOVA

Available from: 2016-06-20 Created: 2016-06-20 Last updated: 2017-04-20Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Landfill Mining: Institutional challenges for the implementation of resource extraction from waste deposits
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Landfill Mining: Institutional challenges for the implementation of resource extraction from waste deposits
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The overall aim of the thesis is to examine the institutional conditions for the implementation and emergence of landfill mining. The result shows that  current policy makes it difficult for landfill mining operators to find a market outlet for the exhumed material, which means that landfill mining may result in a waste disposal problem. Regulations also restrict accessibility to the material in landfills. Therefore, it has generally been municipal landfill owners that perform landfill mining operations, which directs learning processes towards solving landfill problems rather than resource recovery. Landfill mining is not, however, necessarily to be perceived as a recycling activity. It could also be understood as a remediation or mining activity. This would result in more favorable institutional conditions for landfill mining in terms of better access to the market and the material in the landfill.

The regulatory framework surrounding landfills is based on a perception of landfills as a source of pollution, a problem that should be avoided, capped and closed. Extracting resources from landfills, challenges this perception and therefore results in a mismatch with the regulatory framework. On the other hand, the material in mines is typically regarded in the formal institutions as a positive occurrence. Mining activities are regarded as the backbone of the Swedish economy and therefore receive various forms of political support. This favorable regulatory framework is not available for secondary resource production. Based on the identified institutional conditions, institutional challenges are identified. The core of these challenges is a conflict between the policy goal of increased recycling and a non-toxic environment. Secondary resources are typically punished through strict requirements for marketability, while primary resources are supported through subsidies such as tax exemptions. The authorities lack capacity to manage the emergence of unconventional and complex activities such as landfill mining. The institutional arrangements that are responsible for landfills primarily perceive them as pollution, while the institutions responsible for resources, on the other hand, assume them to be found in the bedrock.

The major contribution of the thesis is to go beyond the potential-oriented studies of landfill mining to instead focus on how institutions relate to landfill mining. In order to move towards a resource transition with dominant use of secondary resources a new institutional order is proposed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2016. 120 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 1799
Keyword
Landfill mining, recycling, mineral policy, institutions, transitions, mining.
National Category
Economics and Business Other Environmental Engineering Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-132424 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-132424 (DOI)9789176856574 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-11-25, ACAS, A-huset, Campus Valla, Linköping, 09:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-11-10 Created: 2016-11-10 Last updated: 2017-02-22Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

The full text will be freely available from 2018-05-20 09:49
Available from 2018-05-20 09:49

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