Landfill Mining: Developing a comprehensive assessment method

Robert Hermann, Tanja Wolfsberger, Roland Pomberger, Renato Sarc

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


In Austria, the first basic technological and economic examinations of mass-waste landfills with the purpose to recover secondary raw materials have been carried out by the 'LAMIS - Landfill Mining Österreich' pilot project. A main focus of its research, and the subject of this article, is the first conceptual design of a comprehensive assessment method for landfill mining plans, including not only monetary factors (like costs and proceeds) but also non-monetary ones, such as the concerns of adjoining owners or the environmental impact. Detailed reviews of references, the identification of influences and system boundaries to be included in planning landfill mining, several expert workshops and talks with landfill operators have been performed followed by a division of the whole assessment method into preliminary and main assessment. Preliminary assessment is carried out with a questionnaire to rate juridical feasibility, the risk and the expenditure of a landfill mining project. The results of this questionnaire are compiled in a portfolio chart that is used to recommend, or not, further assessment. If a detailed main assessment is recommended, defined economic criteria are rated by net present value calculations, while ecological and socio-economic criteria are examined in a utility analysis and then transferred into a utility-net present value chart. If this chart does not support making a definite statement on the feasibility of the project, the results must be further examined in a cost-effectiveness analysis. Here, the benefit of the particular landfill mining project per capital unit (utility-net present value ratio) is determined to make a final distinct statement on the general benefit of a landfill mining project.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1157-1163
Number of pages7
JournalWaste management & research
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016

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