The European Union’s newest mining project focuses on urban areas throughout the continent. Their ProSUM project built a database of metals, chemicals, and materials brought into the EU market over the last ten plus years; the idea is that the produced goods can be “mined” again. It’s a really novel way to approach recycle by positioning the recycling process as a mining opportunity. To help companies and organizations understand the plentitude of materials available in existing products (most of which are in landfills or recycling centres) they launched a website the Urban Mine Platform.
The project outcomes are embedded in the European Commission’s (EC) Raw Materials Information System (RMIS) in order to create a more comprehensive and structured repository of knowledge related to primary and secondary sources consumed in the EU, relevant for many stakeholders:
- Manufacturers can gain confidence about future recycled raw material supplies.
- Recyclers will have better intelligence about the changes in product types and material content which impact on their business and provide future recovery potential.
- The mining industry will have greater certainty about the quantities and types of materials needed in the marketplace, mitigating risk and improving profitability.
- Policymakers will be better informed on raw material supplies, which affect jobs and financial institutions, and how materials are linked to energy consumption.
- Researchers will have better data quantity, quality, completeness and reliability.