Waste Management & Recycling Solutions

Landfill mining – Profiting from treated waste? Is it rubbish?

Last month it was released that Zero Waste Scotland are planning on following in the footsteps of leading economies such as the United States, Thailand and Korea who have put landfill mining into action. Although the Scottish government is only researching at this time it is very likely that this plan will follow through and the benefits, that I will explain below, will be felt throughout from home owners to small and large businesses.

Landfill mining and reclamation (LFMR) is a process whereby solid wastes which have previously been sent to landfill are excavated and processed. This could involve incinerating waste to generate power (reducing our reliance on fossil fuels) and recycling valuable materials, the most important of which are metals that in recent years have had a price increase at a rate never seen before. Reusing the plastics and metals will bring back to the forefront of local authorities’ minds the idea of ‘Zero Waste’ landfills.

Is this just another excuse for waste companies to make money? No, it benefits a variety of people; the average person is struggling to get on the property ladder with recent lack of housing (mainly due to lack of space), this can be helped by clearing spaces previously used for waste. Tax payers could experience small decreases in landfill taxes that otherwise are forecast to double in the next 5 years if we ignore this scheme. It is also predicted that landfill sites will reach maximum capacity by 2020. In actual fact, at the rate at which Britain produces waste, we could consider landfill disposals a renewable resource.

Larger scale benefits for the environment involves recycling of soil fractions that can be used for gardening, decreasing land fill footprint (and as we saw above also reducing costs) and reduce the burning of fossil fuels.

As with any involvement in landfills there are risks which all involved are aware of and evidently precautions are taken to reduce them. Used syringes and toxic chemical waste are just few of the high risk substances found in the sites. The biggest issue is methane accumulations due to, what some would consider, the ‘fermentation’ of garbage. Being a flammable, odorless gas in its purest form, small accumulations of it that are released will ignite from sparks created by the friction of metal. The study must be done on a variety of different site locations as each area will have a different composition of waste resulting in different values of recyclable metals and plastics.

In my opinion the care during processing of the waste will greatly reduce the risks which are outweighed by the ongoing benefits. However here at Polidor We are trying to divert as much as possible away from landfill as well as your general waste collections by organizing a recycling waste collection service and therefore recycle more reducing frequency of collection on your general waste while also saving money. To find out more please contact a member of our team on 01245 806 993 or info@polidorrecycling.com you can also contact us via our submission form.

Comments are closed.