Landfill ‘mining’ growing in popularity

Landfill is something that has been taking place for a very long time and it was previously thought that all items thrown into landfill were waste. However, landfill mining is a relatively new idea that will allow people to mine landfill sites for valuable commodities that were thrown away in the past.

It is well-known that various computer components contain precious metals such as gold and in the past these were not as recycled as they are today. Therefore it has often been thought that landfill from the past should be sorted in order to recover these components.

This is something that is about to be made reality in Belgium, although the company which has been contracted to go through the landfill is not going to be looking for gold. Instead they are going to be taking rubbish that was thrown away and burning it in order to create electricity.

The first site that the company are going to be working on is a waste site that is 50 years old and contains around 17 tonnes of waste. The deal that the company have struck up is potentially worth €500 million and it is going to involve the construction of a specially designed power station that will be capable of burning the rubbish found at the site.

This new facility is going to take advantage of new technology which will allow the rubbish to be burned in a very efficient way. It is also going to be the first commercial application of the new technology developed by the British firm, APP.

The Chief Executive of APP is Simon Merriweather and he has commented, “Any waste that can be recycled is first recovered from the landfill site and then any materials which cannot be are processed and then turned into electricity.”