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Can urban mining save the planet?

Electronic waste in a giant dump. Photo.

What is the role of urban mining for sustainability? Getting back resources from waste products is essential, but not enough. IIIEE researcher Jessika Luth Richter was interviewed by BBC radio about urban mining.

The main messages from stakeholders and researchers are that there is much potential for urban mining and in many cases waste products are rich sources for rare metals that are needed for low-carbon technologies today often mined outside Europe. There are also challenges: the products need to be returned, which will take time, and even then the demand is expected to exceed the supply from recycled materials.

Urban mining and the role of extended producer responsibility policies has been a focus of a Formas-funded project at the IIIEE.

Listen to BBC radio and the episode “Wealth from waste: can urban mining save the planet?”