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Trash To Cash: Mining Landfills For Energy & Profit

Trash To Cash: Mining Landfills For Energy & Profit
A Belgian company is working on removing the raw materials from dumps, making both energy and building materials out of them, & then redeveloping the land.
50 miles east of Brussels, next to an old coal mine, lies a festering stinkhole that few people ever visit, & most people would rather forget about. Dating from the 1960s, the Remo Milieubeheer landfill at Houthalen-Hechteren is a typical dump full of industrial waste & household garbage–16.5 million tons of it in all.
Eventually, after a complex, multi-phase process called “Closing the Circle,” he hopes to turn the site back to nature. What’s more, Laevers thinks Houthalen-Hechteren could be the first of many such projects around the world. “We really believe this concept is the future, & that we can all benefit from it,” he says.
Machiels has formed a joint venture with Advanced Plasma Power, a U.K. energy-to-waste company that converts the non-recyclable residue into a mixture of clean-burning natural gas–which generates electricity for 100,000 homes–& a building material called Plasmarok.
He has been contacted by people from Chile, Belgium, Bulgaria, Hungary,& Romania, all wanting to find out how they might adapt the project for their own landfills.
“Everywhere in the world, people are starting to realize the potential from mining landfills,” he says


The economics of enhanced landfill mining: private and societal performance drivers”

Why not in Hong Kong too ?

South China Morning Post

Published on South China Morning Post (

Home > Lunch with Carrie Lam? Expect plenty of waste

Lunch with Carrie Lam? Expect plenty of waste

Wednesday, 11 September, 2013, 12:00am

NewsHong Kong


Gary Cheung

Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor is expected to lobby for support to expand the city’s three landfills when she hosts a lunch today for leaders of the district councils where the tips are located.

The chief secretary has invited chairmen of councils in Tuen Mun, Yuen Long, Sai Kung and North District to join her for lunch at her home on The Peak. Lam has been co-ordinating the administration’s efforts over the past few months to rally support for the controversial move. Tuen Mun chairman Lau Wong-fat said he would reiterate his call for the government to scrap its landfill expansion plans. “Two months after the Legislative Council Finance Committee deferred the plan to extend the Tuen Mun landfill, the government has yet to come up with any concrete proposals to mitigate the negative environmental impact of landfills,” he said.

Lau, who is also chairman of the Heung Yee Kuk, representing the interests of indigenous New Territories residents, said the government was all talk when it came to easing the pollution of the tips. “Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said in July Tuen Mun residents are owed something for putting up with this polluting landfill … But what has been done to compensate us?” he said. Plans to extend the Tuen Mun and Ta Kwu Ling landfills were deferred in July. That was a month after the Tseung Kwan O expansion plan was withdrawn by Legco’s public works subcommittee amid strong opposition.

So Sai-chi, chairman of North District, said he expected the landfills plan would be among the issues discussed at today’s lunch. So said he supported the Ta Kwu Ling extension provided the government offered effective measures to mitigate its impact. “Our district should take into account the overall interests of Hong Kong residents,” So said.

Sai Kung chairman Ng Sze-fuk and Yuen Long chairman Leung Che-cheung were also invited to the lunch. The government plans to reapply for funding to expand the landfills next year. Separately, 22 Sai Kung councillors backed a motion to censure colleague Christine Fong Kwok-shan, who they say raised funds illegally in the campaign against the Tseung Kwan O plan.


Tuen Mun landfill

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