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ENVIRONMENTAL LAW ISSUES IN CONNECTION WITH LANDFILL MINING

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

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Copyright: © 2021 CISA Publisher


Abstract

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.

Keywords


Editorial History

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

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