FI-9 :: Innovative ways of recycling materials and re-using land areas

Depletion of many non-renewable natural resources, such as minerals and nutrients, is an increasing problem. Sand and gravel has been used for decades in the construction of buildings and infrastructure. Some resources, such as gravel and good quality aggregates, have become scarce close to their consumption in cities and have to be transported considerable distances. Promoting the recycling of materials can help to guarantee their availability and decrease environmental impacts, but methodology and procedures need to be further developed. As extraction activities are often only temporary, the re-use of land areas is an important issue and can provide new opportunities.
Possible research questions may be:
• How to manage the supply and demand of soil and aggregates in local and regional level through effective and appropriate re-use of various types of excavated soil, and organisation of temporary storage for classified materials?
• How to advance the recycling of limited mineral and nutrient resources (e.g. through capturing phosphorous from wastewater or landfill mining)?
Land management:
• Which are the most effective policy instruments to promote the use of substitutive products and excavated soils especially for gravel and restrict the disposing of excavated soil materials at landfills?
• How to take the supply and demand of soil and aggregate resources into account in land use planning already in the early phase?
• How to ensure that the best available technology is used and lifecycle sustainability is taken into account reuse/recycling of excavated contaminated soil materials?
• How to realise new ways to re-use brownfields, mines and aggregate extraction areas, e.g. in urban development, recreation or as restored nature areas?