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Mineral waste landfill requirements in Saxony, up to the year 2035

Client

State Office for Environment, Agriculture and Geology, Saxony

Year

2020


In 2016, around 17 million tonnes of hazardous and non-hazardous waste, including around 10 million tonnes of construction and demolition waste, were reused, or disposed of in the Free State of Saxony. Of this, 4.2 million tonnes were soil and stone, 3.5 million tonnes were construction rubble, and 1 million tonnes came from road excavation.

A large proportion of the construction and demolition waste was used at surface mining sites (7 million tonnes) and at construction waste treatment plants (3.3 million tonnes), and about 1 million tonnes were landfilled. Mineral waste represents the largest waste group in terms of quantity in Germany, and this is also the case in Saxony. “It will also be necessary to dispose of unusable mineral construction waste in landfills, in the future,” explains Prognos project manager Nadja Schütz.

On behalf of Saxony’s State Office for the Environment, Agriculture and Geology, Prognos investigated the question of how the landfill demand for mineral construction waste in the Free State of Saxony will develop by 2035.

Existing and planned landfill sites

In the Free State of Saxony, there are currently only two Class 0 landfill sites (for waste with a low pollutant content) and one Class I landfill site (for moderately contaminated, non-hazardous waste) that was put into operation in 2018. In addition, there are six Class 0 and Class I landfill sites that are in the decommissioning phase. These only receive barely contaminated mineral waste, which can be used to produce the surface sealing layer. There are two Class 0 and one Class I landfill site that have already been approved or are under construction.

Forecasts for 2035

For 2035, the study forecasts that 9.6 million tonnes of mineral waste will need to be disposed of in Saxony. This equates to an increase of 7.5 percent compared to 2016 and a yearly increase of 0.4 percent. “However, not only will the amount of waste increase,” says Nadja Schütz, “but due to the legal framework conditions, more mineral waste will also be deposited in landfill.” For example, the requirements of the “Code of Practice on the Requirements for the Recovery of Non-Mining Mineral Waste in Surface Mines under Mining Supervision” mean that the amount of construction waste from non-existing surface mines is expected to be transferred to landfill sites. The ban on the recycling of road construction materials with tar/pitch-typical components also increases the amount that will be deposited and thus has an impact on landfill requirements.

Future landfill requirements

According to the base scenario, for Class 0 landfill, the study calculates a landfill requirement of 500,000 tonnes in 2016 for waste generated in Saxony. By 2035, this will have increased to 601,000 tonnes per year. In total, there will be a requirement of 11.3 million tonnes for Class 0 landfill generated for the time period 2016–2035. If the capacities at the landfill sites that are in the deposition and decommissioning phases are considered, and the two approved landfill replans, a residual period up to 2026 can be predicted for Class 0 landfill according to the base scenario. The same scenario calculated a Class I landfill requirement of 68,000 tonnes for 2016 in the Free State of Saxony. By 2035, this demand will increase to 159,000 tonnes per year.

Over the period under consideration, landfill requirements in the Free State of Saxony came to a total of 2.6 million tonnes. A new landfill for this class of waste has been in operation since 2018 and another has already been approved. Taking into account the constructed and planned Class I landfill, the projected landfill requirements for Class I will have a theoretical remaining life span that goes beyond 2035.

Our approach

For the purpose of the study, public statistics, studies, and data were evaluated. To this end, Prognos used its own Commercial Waste, Economic Outlook, and Landfill models. To enable the forecast of the amount of mineral waste that will be disposed of in Saxony in 2035, the previous development of waste volumes in Saxony, future economic development, and other influencing factors (such as the development in civil engineering, road and road networks, waste from thermal processes) were examined.

The study “MinResource – Landfill Requirements for Mineral Waste in the Free State of Saxony up to 2035” (in German)

Authors: Nadja Schütz, Arno Häusler

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