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The institutional capacity for a resource transition: A critical review of Swedish governmental commissions on landfill mining
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Strategic Sustainability Studies. Linköping University, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3137-1571
2017 (English)In: Environmental Science and Policy, ISSN 1462-9011, E-ISSN 1873-6416, Vol. 70, p. 46-53Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Recycling of minerals from waste deposits could potentially double the recycling flows while offering an opportunity to address the many problematic landfills. However, this type of activity, i.e., landfill mining, brings many advantages, risks and uncertainties and lacks economic feasibility. Therefore, we investigate the capacity of the Swedish authorities to navigate the environmental, resource, and economic conditions of landfill mining and their attitude to support such radical recycling alternatives towards a resource transition.

By analyzing three governmental commissions on landfill mining, we show how the authorities seem unable to embrace the complexity of the concept. When landfill mining is framed as a remediation activity the authorities are positive in support, but when it is framed as a mining activity the authorities are negative. Landfill mining is evaluated based on how conventional practices work, with one and only one purpose: to extract resources or remediation. That traditional mining was a starting point in the evaluation becomes particularly obvious when the resource potential shall be evaluated. The resource potential of landfills is assessed based on metals with a high occurrence in the bedrock. If the potential instead had been based on metals with low incidence in the Swedish bedrock, the potential would have been found in the human built environment.

Secondary resources in landfills seem to lack an institutional affiliation, since the institutional arrangements that are responsible for landfills primarily perceive them as pollution, while the institutions responsible for resources, on the other hand, assume them to be found in the bedrock. Finally, we suggest how the institutional capacity for a resource transition can increase by the introduction of a broader approach when evaluating emerging alternatives and a new institutional order.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2017. Vol. 70, p. 46-53
Keywords [en]
Landfill mining, Resource policy, Frame analysis, Institutional capacity, Transition
National Category
Environmental Engineering Public Administration Studies
Research subject
Industrial Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-219734DOI: 10.1016/j.envsci.2017.01.005ISI: 000396957400006Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85012898591OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-219734DiVA, id: diva2:1164515
Funder
VINNOVA
Note

QC 20180116

Available from: 2017-12-11 Created: 2017-12-11 Last updated: 2018-01-16Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

The full text will be freely available from 2019-02-16 13:52
Available from 2019-02-16 13:52

Other links

Publisher's full textScopushttp://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1462901116309248

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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More styles
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