Did you know that the majority of landfills in the EU are non-sanitary ones, that harm the environment, climate and health of citizens? Landfill rehabilitation can create opportunities such as regaining land and resources for new use. To learn about inspiring examples from European experts, the Policy Learning Platform organised a webinar on 2 March 2020 on this topic. Watch the replay below.
Unfortunately, we encountered difficulties with the webinar recording and towards the end, the recording has been lost. Nevertheless, you can access all presentations below and in case of any questions, get in contact with Thematic Expert Astrid Severin via [email protected].
Webinar agenda overview
00:06:00 Introduction presentation by Thematic Expert Astrid Severin
00:19:00 Presentation by Jan Frank Mars about rehabilitation into a housing area.
00:32:00 Q&A: How is the area doing now that is build on the rehabilitation area?
00:33:20 Q&A: How about the plastic fraction at your landfill removal good practice, how much was plastics and what did you do with it? Did it go back to landfill?
00:34:52 Q&A: Concerning financing, you mentioned 4 options in your presentation, how do these options compare in price and did municipalities choose for cheaper and less ambitious options?
00:42:29 Presentation by Clyde Falzon Bouvett about rehabilitation of a landfill to a family park.
00:55:20 Q&A: The park has multiple uses, how did you choose these uses? Did you have discussions with the municipalities? How did the decision process take place?
00:57:00 Q&A: What is the percentage that was left in the landfill, what percentage was recycled and why was it decided to leave part of the landfill?
The webinar was hosted and introduced by thematic experts Astrid Severin and Ruslan Zhechkov. This was followed by presentations from 3 European experts from Interreg Europe projects COCOON and REGIO-MOB.
- Jan Frank Mars presented on how mining two former landfills led to develop a housing area
- Clyde Falzon Bouvett presented a good practice on going back to nature: Rehabilitation of a landfill into a family park
- Maciej Maderak presented on how an inoperative landfill goes gas station: Biogas as a vehicle fuel
Today, Europe is aspiring the transformation from a linear to a circular economy where we reduce, repair, reuse and recycle our waste. However, for most of the last 100 years, landfilling has been Europe’s prevailing waste treatment method. Mainly due to the provisions and strict technical requirements of the EU Landfill Directive (1999), most landfill operating today are not harmful to the environment. But the vast majority (90%) of European 500,000+ landfills are 'non-sanitary' with a negative environmental impact on surface and groundwater, soil, air and health.
During the webinar, policy makers and practitioners learned how to address this landfill legacy and gained insights on regional opportunities that can be created through landfill rehabilitation.
- Examples from the Malta and the Netherlands have illustrated that good solutions are available to recycle the majority of the materials contained in old landfills. In countries with high landfill costs, more ambitious approaches to rehabilitation have proven to be the cheaper option. Landfill rehabilitation offers the possibility to give land back to the citizens for housing, green infrastructure, family parks, football pits and much more.
- The example from Poland illustrated how landfill gas can be transformed into electricity, or into a clean renewable transport fuel as compressed biogas (CBG) for waste trucks and buses. Many of the ‘younger’ closed landfills contain a lot of energy and regions should analyse the potential to determine in which landfills there is enough economic potential for biogas exploitation. The sites with best potential can then be exploited for landfill gas collection and upgrading for use in motors and generators.
- The lack of business models for successful landfill rehabilitation can be overcome and many Good Practices are now available in the COCOON Handbook.
Are you interested in looking at regional policy challenge of landfill rehabilitation together with like-minded peers from all over Europe? Our peer review service offers you the possibility to tackle your specific challenge during a two-day meeting. Read about the terms of reference and previous success stories here.
Image credit: Photo by Leonid Danilov from Pexels
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