Document Type: Research Note
Department of Biology and Environmental Science, Linnaeus University, Sweden
Department of Water Management, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Estonia
Kaunas University of Technology, Kaunas, Lithuania
Landfills represent a continuous environmental threat due to the emission of different greenhouse gases, which are mainly responsible for the climate changes, and the contaminated leachate that affects the surface and ground water recipients. The circular economy approach appeared as a useful solution to reduce the depletion of the Earth’s natural resources and the environmental risk effects by considering all of the lost resources like wastes including the landfills as potential secondary resources. It is well known that characterizing the composition of landfill waste is an essential step in specifying the recycling methods. In the current research the waste composition at one of the first EU regulations-compliant sanitary landfills (the Torma landfill in Estonia) was studied. The results showed that the fine fraction (<20 mm) represented 53% of the total excavated waste materials while the waste to energy fraction (plastics, woods etc.) was the highest within the coarse fraction (>20 mm). The present work emphasized that mining landfills can be a good solution either for extracting primary raw materials like metals, as a source for recovering energy, or for acquiring landfill space.