The conservation of natural resources – also known as "Urban Mining" – is an essential task of a sustainable economic and environmental policy. Key issues such as improving resource and energy efficiency or the decoupling of waste generation from economic growth are of particular importance.
Driven by increasing prices and growing scarcity of primary raw materials innovative waste management through the provision of secondary raw materials becomes an important link within the product chains. Intelligent waste stream management and energy production from waste (e.g. solid fuels) can save raw materials and costs. The optimization of existing concepts for the use of biowaste and biomass can also make a contribution.
Already today, waste management significantly contributes to the reduction of CO2 emissions. This contribution can be expanded considerably in the future. The implementation of a waste management and recycling system – based on consistent resource conservation by diverting from landfill (particularly of biodegradable waste) – is pending not only in the Eastern European countries, but also in many of the countries in Western Europe.