Urban Mining denotes the process of using the anthropogenic stock as a source for the exploration, extraction, and refining of various raw materials, i.e., treating the anthroposphere as a ‘mine’.
The anthropogenic stock is the sum of all materials used or stored by humans over time. This may include buildings, infrastructure, industries, products (in and out of use), Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE), waste tailings, and landfills.
The potential material recovery from the urban mine depends on the outflow of materials from these sources into the waste stream, along with tailings and landfills. Although there is an overlapping of the concepts of recycling and landfill mining with urban mining, the formers are indeed a part of an urban mine. Quantitatively, urban mining is a sum of end-of-life recycling of various products and some scarce material recovery from landfills and tailings.
Keep reading for Dr Subodh Das, Phinix LLC, intel on aluminium and the mining industry.