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


  • Oskar Johansson - Division of Social Science, Luleå University of Technology, Sweden
  • Maria Pettersson - Division of Social Science, Luleå University of Technology, Sweden


Released under CC BY-NC-ND

Copyright: © 2021 CISA Publisher


In Sweden, landfills are excavated on a relatively modest scale (mainly for the purpose of decontamination, to increase landfill capacity or to free up land for other uses). Lately however, aspirations for excavations aimed at recovering energy and materials have increased and an important goal according to the Mineral Strategy of Sweden is to increase the recycling rate of metals and minerals and reduce the amount of waste. The incidence of certain (critical) metals and minerals, including REE and phosphorus, is moreover assumed to be relatively large in Swedish landfills, and the interest in excavating landfills is therefore expected to increase. The legal situation as regards excavation of landfills in general and of mining waste in particular, is however unclear, not least regarding permit requirement according to the Swedish Environmental Code. Even though landfill recycling may entail numerous negative environmental effects, e.g., acidic and metallic leachate, release of gases, and destabilization of land the regulation of the activity is not clear. The aim of this paper is to describe and problematize the legal situation as regards landfill excavation in Sweden against the backdrop of, on the one hand, a potential increase in the demand for recycled metals and minerals, and on the other hand comprehensive requirements for a non-toxic and healthy environment.


Editorial History

  • Received: 14 Dec 2021
  • Revised: 09 Feb 2022
  • Accepted: 21 Feb 2022
  • Available online: 16 Mar 2022


Agell, A. (1997). ”Legal dogmatics or constructive jurisprudence”, In Frändberg, Å., Göransson, U., and Håstad, T. Festskrift till Stig Strömholm, pp. 35-62. Iustus förlag, Uppsala, Sweden

Burlakovs, J. Kriipsalu, M. Klavins, M. Bhatnagar, A. Vincevica-Gaile, Z. Stenis, J. Jani, Y. Mykhaylenko, V. Gintaras Denafas, G. Turkadze, T. Hogland, M. Rudovica, V. Kaczala, F. Møller Rosendal, R. Hogland, W. “Paradigms on landfill mining: From dump site scavenging to ecosystem services revitalization” Resources, Conservation and Recycling, Volume 123, 2017, pp. 73-84

Case C-6/00, Abfall Service AG (ASA) v Bundesminister für Umwelt, Jugend und Familie

Case C 15/19, AMA — Azienda Municipale Ambiente SpA v Consorzio Laziale Rifiuti — Co.La.Ri

Case C-60/18, AS Tallinna Vesi v Keskkonnaamet

Case C-254/08, Futura Immobiliare srl Hotel Futura and Others v Comune di Casoria

Cossu R., (2016). Back to Earth Sites: From “nasty and unsightly” landfilling to final sink and geological repository. Waste Management, 55, 1–2

Cossu, R., Sciunnach, D., Cappa, S., Gallina, G., Grossule, V., and Raga, R. (2020) “First Worldwide Regulation on Sustainable Landfilling: Guidelines of the Lombardy Region (Italy). Detritus, Volume 12, pp. 114-124
DOI 10.31025/2611-4135/2020.14001

De Römph, T. 'Terminological Challenges to the Incorporation of Landfill Mining in EU Waste Law in View of the Circular Economy', (2016), 25, European Energy and Environmental Law Review, Issue 4, pp. 106-119

De Römph, T. (2018). The legal transition towards a Circular Economy: EU environmental law examined, Faculty of Law, Leuven, Belgium

Dickinson, W. (1995), “Landfill mining comes of age” Solid Waste Technologies 9, 42-47

Directive 1999/31/EC of 26 April 1999 on the landfill of waste

Directive 2008/98/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 November 2008 on waste and repealing certain Directives

Directive 2018/850 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2018 amending Directive 1999/31/EC on the landfill of waste

European Comission, Guidelines on the interpretation of key provisions of Directive 2008/98/EC on waste

Einhäupl, P. Krook, J. Svensson, N. Van Acker, K. Van Passel, S. “Eliciting stakeholder needs – An anticipatory approach assessing enhanced landfill mining” Waste Management 98 (2019) pp. 113-125

Esguerra, J.L., Krook, J., Svensson, N., Van Passel, S., (2018) ”Is enhanced landfill mining profitable?” In: International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) 2018 World Congress, 22–25 October. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, pp. 240–245

Esguerra,J-L., Krook,J., Svensson, N. & Van Passel,S. (2019). Assessing the economic potential of landfill mining: Review and recommendations. Detritus, Volume 08 - December 2019 (08), 125-140.
DOI 10.31025/2611-4135/2019.13883

Frändegård, P. Krook, J. Svensson, N. Eklund, M. (2013) “A novel approach for environmental evaluation of landfill mining” Journal of Cleaner Production 55 (2013) pp. 24-34

Frändegård, P. Krook, J. Svensson, N. Eklund, M. (2013) “Resource and Climate Implications of Landfill Mining” Journal of Industrial Ecology, 17 (5), pp. 742-755

Geysen, D., Jones, P.T., Acker, K.V., Passel, S., Crabs, M., Eyckmans, J., Blonde, M.D., Vrancken, K., Laenen, B., Laevers, P., Ballard, M., Bijnens, S., Sips, K., Umans, L., & Roos, J. (2009). Enhanced landfill mining - A future perspective for landfilling

Government Bill 2019/20:22, Förbättrat genomföranade av avfallsdirektivet

Government Bill 2019/20:124, Vissa ändringar I avfallsskattelagen

Grossule,V. & Stegmann,R (2020). Problems in traditional landfilling and proposals for solutions based on sustainability. Detritus, Volume 12 - September 2020 (12), 78-91.
DOI 10.31025/2611-4135/2020.14000

Hogland, M., Āriņa, D., Kriipsalu, M. Jani, Y. Kaczala, F. de Sá Salomão, A-L. Orupõld, K. Pehme, K-M. Rudoviča, V. Denafas, G. Burlakovs, J. Vincēviča-Gaile, Z. Hogland, W. Remarks on four novel landfill mining case studies in Estonia and Sweden. Journal of Material Cycles Waste Management 20, 1355–1363 (2018).
DOI 10.1007/s10163-017-0683-4

Johansson, N. Krook, J. Eklund, M. (2017) ”The institutional capacity for a resource transition – A critical review of Swedish governmental commissions on landfill mining” Environmental Science & Policy 70 pp. 46-53

Johansson, N. Krook, J. Eklund, M. (2012) “Transforming dumps into gold mines. Experiences from Swedish case studies” Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions (5), pp. 33-48

Johansson, N. (2016) Landfill Mining: Institutional challenges for the implementation of resource extraction from waste deposits, Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Environmental Technology and Management. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering

Jones, P.T., Geysen, D., Tielemans, Y., Van Passel, S., Pontikes, Y., Blanpain, B.,Quaghebeur, M., Hoekstra, N., 2013. ”Enhanced landfill mining in view of multiple resource recovery: a critical review.” Journal of Cleaner Production Special Vol.: Urban Landfill Min. 55, 45–55

Jones, P.T., Tielemans, Y. (Eds.), (2011). Enhanced Landfill Mining and the Transition to Sustainable Materials Management: Proceedings International Academic Symposium on Enhanced Landfill Mining (Houthalen-Hechteren, 2010)

Jones, P.T., Wille, J.E., Krook, J. (2018), 2nd ELFM Seminar in the European Parliament: 5 Lessons Learned Why we need to develop a broad Dynamic Landfill Management strategy and vision for Europe’s 500,000 landfills. Policy Brief, EU Training Network for Resource Recovery through Enhanced Landfill [WWW Document]. URL

Kazançoglu Y, Ada, E. Ozturkoglu, Y. Ozbiltekin, M. (2020) “Analysis of the barriers to urban mining for resource melioration in emerging economies” Resources Policy 68 101768

Krook, J., Svensson, N., Eklund, M. (2012), “Landfill mining: A critical review of two decades of research” Waste management 32, pp. 513-520

Krook, J., Jones, P.T., Van Passel, S. (2018), ”Why Enhanced Landfill Mining (ELFM) needs to be politically acknowledged to facilitate sustainable management of European Landfills” NEW-MINE EU training network for resource recovery through enhanced landfill minining. Policy Brief, November 2018

Laner, D, Esguerra J-L. Krook, J. Horttanainen, M. Kriipsalu, M. Møller Rosendal, R. Stanisavljevic, N. (2019) “Systematic assessment of critical factors for the economic performance of landfill mining in Europe: What drives the economy of landfill mining?” Waste Management Volume 95, 15, Pages 674-686

Nytt Juridiskt Arkiv (NJA) 2012 s. 125 – decision of the Supreme Court of Sweden

Regulation (EU) 2018/848 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2018 on organic production and labelling of organic products and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007

Savage, G.M. Golueke, C.G. von Stein, E.L. (1993). ”Landfill mining: past and present. Biocycle 34, 58-61

Spencer, R. (1990) ”Landfill space reuse.” Biocycle 31, 30-33

Swedish Environmental Assessment Regulation (SFS 2013:251)

Swedish Environmental Code (SFS 1998:808)

Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) (2021) Att inventera och åtgärda nedlagda deponier. Accesible online (accessed 2021-06-21)

Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) (2020) Deponering av avfall - Vägledning om regelverket inom deponeringsområdet. Accesible online: (accessed 2021-06-20)

Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) (2013) Review of the landfill tax. NV-00338-13. Swedish EPA

Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) (2015) Recycling of waste facilities NV 00308-15. Swedish EPA

Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) and Swedish Geological Survey (SGU) (2017) "Förslag till strategi för hantering av gruvavfall". Report from a government assignment. Accessible online:

Swedish Geological Survey (SGU) (2014): Redovisning av regeringsuppdrag: Uppdrag att utföra en kartläggning och analys av utvinnings- och återvinningspotential för svenska metall- och mineraltillgångar. Dnr: 3114-1639/2013. Accessible online:

Swedish Government, Press release - Hantering av schaktmassor ska ses över published at 2021-01-28 Accessible online:

Swedish Law (1999:673) of waste taxation

Swedish Ordinance (SFS 2001:512) on Landfilling

Swedish Waste Ordinance (SFS 2020:614)

Särkkä,H., Kaatinen,T., Hannus, E., Hirvonen,S., Valjus,T., Lerssi,J., A. Dino,G., Rossetti,P., Griffiths,Z., Wagland, S. & Coulon, F. Investigation of municipal solid waste (MSW) and industrial landfills as a potential source of secondary raw materials. Detritus, Volume 1 - March 2018 (01), 83-90.
DOI 10.26403/detritus/2018.3

Van Passel, S. Dubois, M. Eyckmans, J. de Gheldere, S. Ang, F. Jones, P.T. and Van Acker, K. (2013) “The economics of enhanced landfill mining: private and societal performance drivers” Journal of Cleaner Production, 55, 92-102

Westberg, P. (1992). ”Dissertation writing and choice of research approach – An idea for openness in sociology of law.” In Heuman, L, Festskrift to Per-Olof Bolding, pp. 421-446. Juristförlaget, Stockholm, Sweden