Urban Mine Database Set to Benefit Circular Economy

The Prospecting Secondary Raw Materials in the Urban Mine and Mining Wastes project is to unveil the first Urban Mine Knowledge Data Platform.

By BEN MESSENGER Waste Management World 

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The Prospecting Secondary Raw Materials in the Urban Mine and Mining Wastes (ProSUM) project is to unveil the first Urban Mine Knowledge Data Platform in Brussels on 10 November 2017.

The initiative is being led by the WEEE Forum, an association of 33 not for profit producer compliance schemes.

According to one member, REPIC – a not-for-profit company established to enable its members to meet their producer obligations under the WEEE Directive – the unveiling will showcase the results of over two years data analysis by some 50 expert organisations across a host of different waste streams.

The project is intended to deliver a centralised database on arisings, stocks, and flows of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), end of life vehicles (ELVs) batteries and mining wastes.

Big Data for a Big Challenge
Every year across Europe, around 9 million tonnes of WEEE and 8 million tonnes of ELVs are generated and over 1 billion batteries are sold. These products are a rich source of secondary critical raw materials in the urban mine.

Until now, the data on secondary critical raw materials has been produced by a variety of institutions including government agencies, universities, NGOs and industries and lies scattered in different databases, formats and reports which is difficult to compare or aggregate.

“The database is expected to go into end-user testing after the summer, with any adjustments made prior to our information network day in November,” explained REPIC’s environmental affairs manager and ProSUM’s project leader, Sarah Downes.

“Once up and running, this database could be used to improve the management of recycled materials by providing valuable insight into past trends and future arisings for products and materials,” she continued.

With the launch of the first Urban Mine Knowledge Data Platform the recycling industry will have at its fingertips, seamless access to data and intelligence on mineral resources, from extraction to end of life products, with the ability to reference all spatial and non-spatial data.

According to REPIC, for the first time, primary and secondary raw material data will be easily accessible in one platform with data available to understand the potential for expanded recovery and collection of secondary raw materials from the urban mine.

Users will be able to perform searches, and access maps, graphs, charts and specific reports.

“In a circular economy, today’s goods are tomorrow’s resources. Traditional linear take-make-dispose approaches are not sustainable. It can’t make environmental or economic sense to use energy and resources to dig stuff out of the ground and convert it to materials and products, only to dump it back into the ground again,” said Downes.

“As a collective industry we need to get better at recycling and improving our knowledge is a critical step.” she concluded.

PROSUM Event – Brussels, 10 November 2017
ProSUM Information Network event held within the framework of Raw Materials Week. See maps of secondary raw materials across the EU, get access to the Urban Mine Knowledge Data Platform and hear about the opportunities to extend the knowledge base in the future.

For more information click HERE

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