(Picture ©2018 EU/EP) 
The second ELFM seminar in the European Parliament was a co-organisation of MEP Hilde Vautmans, SIM² KU Leuven, Cleantech Flanders, EURELCO and 3 EU-funded landfill management/mining-related projects: NEW-MINE, COCOON and RAWFILL.

The lead partner, two project partners and two stakeholders of COCOON were present among 60 participants to inform the participants on the actions of COCOON project in their region and to debate on the most relevant landfill issues.

Most participants of the seminar acknowledged the need for a shift from the classic concept of eternal landfill monitoring towards a dynamic, long-term landfill management strategy. However, it became clear that the current EU Policies do not support this shift in any way yet.

First, Europe’s historic landfills predate the Landfill Directive (1999) and form the majority (> 90%) of Europe’s 500,000 landfills. These landfills do not need to be in compliance with the Landfill Directive.

Secondly, the Landfill Directive is based on a static view on sanitary landfills and does not have an answer for the long-term liabilities, as aftercare funds are underfunded, making any kind of future remediation/mining activity less attractive.

These findings make the COCOON project even more relevant, so we are even more motivated to contribute to policy changes on this regard in the COCOON regions.

A report on the meeting can be found here.