an official journal of: published by:
Editor in Chief: RAFFAELLO COSSU


  • John Laurence Esguerra - Department of Management and Engineering, Linköping University, Sweden - Department of Engineering Management, University of Antwerp, Belgium
  • Joakim Krook - Department of Management and Engineering, Linköping University, Sweden
  • Niclas Svensson - Department of Management and Engineering, Linköping University, Sweden
  • Steven Van Passel - Department of Engineering Management, University of Antwerp, Belgium

DOI 10.31025/2611-4135/2019.13883

Released under CC BY-NC-ND

Copyright: © 2019 CISA Publisher

Editorial History

  • Received: 05 Jul 2019
  • Revised: 29 Oct 2019
  • Accepted: 31 Oct 2019
  • Available online: 23 Dec 2019


As landfill mining (LFM) gains public attention, systematic assessment of its economic potential is deemed necessary. The aim of this review is to critically analyze the usefulness and validity of previous economic assessments of LFM. Following the life cycle costing (LCC) framework, (i) the employed methods based on goal and scope, technical parameters and data inventory, and modelling choices were contrasted with respect to (ii) the synthesized main findings based on net profitability and economic performance drivers. Results showed that the selected studies (n=15) are mostly case study-specific and concluded that LFM has a weak economic potential, hinting at the importance of favorable market and regulation settings. However, several method issues are apparent as costs and revenues are accounted at different levels of aggregation, scope and scale—from process to sub-process level, from private to societal economics, and from laboratory to pilot-scale, respectively. Moreover, despite the inherent large uncertainties, more than half of the studies did not perform any uncertainty or sensitivity analyses posing validity issues. Consequently, this also limits the usefulness of results as individual case studies and as a collective, towards a generic understanding of LFM economics. Irrespective of case study-specific or generic aims, this review recommends that future assessments should be learning-oriented. That is, uncovering granular information about what builds up the net profitability of LFM, to be able to systematically determine promising paths for the development of cost-efficient projects.



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