Promoting “Life on Land” 

In the quest to achieve UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) #15, which targets “Life on Land” by promoting the sustainable management of forests, combating desertification, halting and reversing land degradation, and halting biodiversity loss, innovative and sustainable waste management strategies have become crucial.  

One such strategy that holds significant promise is landfill mining, a process that involves excavating and processing the materials stored in landfills to recover secondary raw materials, generate energy from combustible waste, and ultimately rehabilitate the land. This concept is not merely about waste management; it’s a step towards resource recovery and environmental restoration. By extracting valuable materials and remediating land, landfill mining turns what was once considered a final waste disposal site into a resource hub. 

One of the primary environmental benefits of landfill mining is its contribution to ecosystem restoration. By removing waste materials and contaminants from landfills, the process reduces pollution and the risk of hazardous substances leaching into soil and groundwater. This is particularly important for protecting nearby habitats and biodiversity, which can be severely affected by pollution and land degradation. Moreover, landfill mining frees up land that can be repurposed for green spaces, agriculture, or forestry, thereby directly contributing to SDG #15’s aim of sustainably managing forests and restoring degraded land. The reclaimed land can serve as new habitats for wildlife, contributing to biodiversity conservation and ecosystem resilience. 

Desertification and land degradation pose significant challenges to environmental sustainability and human well-being. Landfill mining offers a proactive approach to these issues by enabling the recovery of degraded land, which can be rehabilitated and used for sustainable purposes. The process helps in soil restoration efforts by removing pollutants and improving soil quality, making the land suitable for vegetation and reducing the risk of desertification. Additionally, the space recovered from old landfills can be transformed into areas of natural beauty and ecological significance. These areas can function as carbon sinks, contribute to groundwater recharge, and support local climate regulation, all of which are vital for combating desertification and reversing land degradation. 

Landfill mining supports the principles of the circular economy by recovering materials that can be recycled and reintroduced into the production cycle. This not only reduces the demand for virgin resources but also minimizes waste generation. Metals, plastics, and other materials retrieved from landfills can be processed and reused, decreasing the environmental impact associated with raw material extraction and processing. The energy content of certain waste components can also be harnessed through landfill mining. Biodegradable waste, for example, can be converted into biogas, a renewable energy source, contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and supporting energy sustainability. 

While landfill mining presents numerous benefits, it also comes with challenges. Technical, economic, and environmental considerations must be carefully weighed. The feasibility of landfill mining projects depends on the composition of waste, the availability of technology, and market demand for recovered materials. Additionally, environmental assessments are crucial to ensure that the mining process does not cause more harm than good, particularly in terms of emissions and energy consumption. 

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 15 life on land - WOIMA CorporationFor landfill mining to effectively contribute to SDG #15, collaborative efforts among governments, industries, and communities are essential. Policies and incentives that promote waste recovery, sustainable land use, and environmental protection can encourage the adoption of landfill mining practices. Research and innovation in waste processing technologies will also play a key role in maximizing the efficiency and sustainability of these projects. 

In conclusion, landfill mining emerges as a transformative strategy for environmental restoration and resource recovery, aligning with the goals of SDG #15. By reclaiming land, reducing pollution, and recovering valuable materials, landfill mining can significantly contribute to the restoration of ecosystems, combat desertification, halt land degradation, and support biodiversity conservation. As we move towards a more sustainable and resilient future, embracing and optimizing landfill mining could be a pivotal step in our journey. 

Our offering to the small-to-medium-scale WtE market, the pre-engineered, prefabricated, and modular wasteWOIMA® WtE plant, is a robust grate-fired solution for combusting different waste streams to energy. A single boiler island (WOIMAline) wasteWOIMA® plant uses roughly 40,000 to 50,000 tons of waste fuel per annum. Several WOIMAlines can be integrated to create a larger power plant. The modular plant can be easily and cost-efficiently dismantled once the landfill has been reclaimed and moved to a new location. 


wasteWOIMA® product family brochure

WOIMA use case landfill mining

WOIMA use case landfill rehabilitation for housing purposes

WOIMA use case relocating the power plant with ease

WOIMA and UN SDG’s brochure


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WOIMA Corporation is a Finnish supplier of best-in-class waste-to-value products, projects and services worldwide. We have developed solutions that enable us, and the customer, to transform and recycle virtually any waste stream into raw materials and energy.  At WOIMA we combine Finnish engineering know-how in waste management with power generation design expertise. These solutions are used in Finland every day. They support the circular economy ideology and ensure that less than 1% of Finland’s waste ends up in landfills.

Our mission is to improve quality of life both locally and globally, as well as empower people to utilize waste as a commodity. Our decades of international project management experience ensure an on-time, in-budget and high-quality WOIMA solution delivery across the globe.