New video: The Dark Side of the Circular Economy

“The Dark Side of the Circular Economy”, that’s the title of the Aftermovie for the 5th Enhanced Landfill Mining Symposium in Leuven (5-2-2020) (made by Stijn van Baarle, Storyrunner). Referring to the EC’s European Green Deal the video highlights that the pending Circular Economy Action Plan, which is due in March 2020, suffers from one major blind spot. How can we deal with the landfilled waste of the past, irrespective of the urgent need to avoid new waste creation and disposal in the future?


ELFM V provided the floor to invited international experts, as well as the early-stage researchers from the ETN NEW-MINE project who presented their final results. The Symposium included two exciting panel discussions, which stimulated a wider societal debate about how Europe is going to deal with its 500,000+ landfills. As was repeatedly highlighted, a new Circular Economy Action Plan should not just address the (reduction and avoidance) of waste flows (i.e. the present) but should also cover the waste stocks (i.e. the past). Overlooking this evident reality can be seen as a dereliction of duty.

Taking into account that in Europe there are 12,000 landfills in areas prone to flooding and erosion as a result of climate change (cf. keynote lecture Prof. Kate Spencer – Background papers here: Brand and Spencer, 2018 – Brand and Spencer, 2019 – Brand et al, 2017 – O’shea et al  2018), urgent (policy) action is required, as discussed in the video and the welcome opening lecture.

Slides of keynote presentations

The slides of the ELFM V keynote presentations can be found here:

Watch "Dark Side of the Circular Economy" video here

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