Regarding the RAWFILL project

Old landfills in the circular economy

For a long time, landfills have solely been seen as final waste disposal sites or static endpoints of the linear economy. It is estimated that there are about 100, 000 old landfills in north-western Europe. Fortunately, current waste management policies result in a limited percentage of landfilled waste today, as a consequence of the shift towards a circular economy. Old landfills can contribute to this circular economy as well, if they are recognised as dynamic stockpiles of materials, energy and land that could be exploited for the benefit of the local economy and the immediately surrounding areas. 

This way of thinking about old landfills is steadily growing in popularity. The Interreg European project COCOON introduced the concept of Dynamic Landfill Management (DLM) to emphasise the importance of aligning landfill valorisation and rehabilitation strategies with the surrounding, dynamic environment of the landfill. The Interreg Europe RAWFILL project brings different stakeholders together, that are specialised in this subject: SPAQuE (BE), University of Liège (BE), Natural Environment Research Council (UK), Cleantech Flanders (BE), ATRASOL (BE), SAS Les Champs Jouault (FR) and the Bergischer Abfallwirtschaftsverband (DE). To improve this new approach to landfill, the project and its partners developed a new working method to overcome the barriers that are still in place today, to successfully implement DLM and to provide expertise on the valorisation potential of landfills. In this way, they support the development of a new circular economy for raw materials recovered from landfills and the development of the space currently occupied by these static objects.

RAWFILL solutions for old landfills 

On 7 June 2017 the pilot meeting of RAWFILL took place in Liège. Since then, the RAWFILL partners have managed to develop an evidence-based methodology to support new business models that address the resource recovery or rehabilitation potential of landfills. This methodology includes 

  • The Enhanced Landfill Inventory Framework (ELIF): a method for gathering and storing landfill mining and management-oriented data sets in a structured way. 
  • The Decision Support Tool (DST) 1 - Cedalion: a tool for selection of landfills with the most promise in terms of valorisation and rehabilitation potential. 
  • The HADESS methodology for innovative landfill content characterisation: Hazardless Acquisition of landfill Data using geophysical Exploration and Surveying Strategy. 
  • DST 2 – Orion, to select the most suitable valorisation options for the most promising landfills determined by Cedalion. 
The RAWFILL inforgraphic gives a quick overview of the RAWFILL methodology. More inormation can be found on the RAWFILL project website.

RAWFILL Coordinator