Case Study of a Successful Ashfill Mining Operation [Book Chapter]


Case Study of a Successful Ashfill Mining Operation [Book Chapter]


Link to Full Text

Download Full Text

Document Type

Book Chapter


Book chapter from "Waste Management and Valorization: Alternative Technologies," edited by Elena Cristina Rada.



Publication Date



Apple Academic Press


New York, NY


The latter half of the 20th century witnessed dramatic increases in personal consumption and the availability of new consumer goods fueled by unprecedented advancements in rapidly changing technology. An unintended consequence of the era of consumption has been the correspondingly dramatic increase in per capita waste generation; all of which necessitated end of life consumer management. While the implementation of the waste management hierarchy (i.e., Lansink’s ladder) of reduction, reuse, and recycling have increased, globally, municipal solid waste (MSW) primarily continues to be buried as raw waste. While reliance on landfilling of MSW means that potentially valuable resources have and continue to be discarded, simultaneously we continue to mine for metals as raw materials. The mining of the global stock of metal ores increasingly is facing scarcity, 270geopolitical challenges, and concerns over the associated environmental impacts. Consequently, there is recognition that vast amounts of comparatively concentrated, valuable materials reside in relatively shallow surface deposits in current and former landfills that are relatively close to industrial centers. This is especially the case with older landfills where source separation of recyclable materials rarely occurred (Kaartinen, Sormunen, and Rintala, 2013; Quaghebeur et al., 2013). The discarding of high-value materials while simultaneously mining for these same materials is a highly unsustainable practice.

Case Study of a Successful Ashfill Mining Operation [Book Chapter]