SPAQuE, leader of the European RAWFILL project !


The "RAWFILL" project, presented as part of the European programme of interregional cooperation, INTERREG North-West Europe, has been officially approved. This project, which aims to develop a circular economy based approach to materials found in landfill sites, is coordinated by SPAQuE.


The premise of this project dates back to 2015, a year in which SPAQuE, in collaboration with Belgian, British, French and German public and private partners, submitted an initial "RAWFILL" proposal to the INTERREG authorities. In 2016, the project passed the first qualification stage (content approval), and at the start of this year was approved in its entirety.

Though the "RAWFILL" project brings together eight European partners (including five from Belgium), it is SPAQuE that has been designated "leader". Its missions will include managing relations and communications between all members of the project, namely the OVAM, the University of Liège, I-Cleantech Vlaanderen, Atrasol, BAV (Germany), the SAS Les Champs Jouault (France) and the Natural Environment Research Council (United Kingdom).

Lasting three years and with a budget of 3,800,000 Euro, "RAWFILL" is designed to develop a methodology for assessing the economic potential of landfill sites in western Europe. This methodology will then make it possible to recycle resources from landfill sites (materials, biogas, etc.).


Two pilot tests

To fulfil this aim, "RAWFILL" will need to provide three elements :

  • a precise framework for the inventory of landfills in western Europe (including a reliable method for estimating their economic potential),
  • an innovative approach using the most up-to-date geophysical methods to complete all the missing economic date required about the landfills,
  • a decision-making tool that can be used to class landfill sites and define the most economically interesting "landfill mining" projects to be set up.

Geophysical, sampling and financial feasibility studies will be completed during the two pilot tests on one landfill site in Flanders and another in France.

By 2030, "RAWFILL" hopes to have enabled the completion of 60 landfill mining projects, the recovery of 15 million tons of material and the creation of approximately 1,500 jobs.


What is "landfill mining"?

Landfill mining consists of excavating, sorting and recycling the waste buried in landfill sites. The waste that can be recycled - and therefore the most sought-after waste -  are ferrous and non-ferrous matter, and minerals (such as aluminium), etc. Although this activity has seen some success in Anglo-Saxon countries, it remains little known in Belgium. Nonetheless, a project has already been carried out in Belgium by the OVAM at a landfill site near Hasselt.


Interested by "Rawfill" ? SPAQuE will organise a first "kick-off meeting" on June 7th 2017 at Palais des Congrès in Liège. Please click here to registrate.