SIM2 Kuleuven

SIM² KU Leuven (Coordinator ETN NEW-MINE) 

SIM² KU Leuven is the coordinator of the ETN NEW-MINE project. SIM² KU Leuven is a leading, interdisciplinary research cluster at KU Leuven uniting the research groups working on Sustainable Inorganic Materials Management. SIM² KU Leuven’s mission is to develop, organise and implement problem-driven, science-deep research and future-oriented education, contributing to the environmentally friendly production and recycling of metals, minerals and engineered materials within a circular-economy context. ELFM is one of the key focus domains of SIM² KU Leuven, which was one of the driving forces behind the Flemish ELFM Consortium and, subsequently, the EURELCO Consortium.


NEW-MINE is the EU Horizon 2020 Marie-Sklodowska Curie Training Network for Resource Recovery Through Enhanced Landfill Mining. NEW-MINE trains 15 early-stage researchers (ESRs) in all aspects of landfill mining, in terms of both technological innovation and multi-criteria assessments. The technological innovation follows a value-chain approach, from advanced landfill exploration, mechanical processing, plasma/solar/hybrid thermochemical conversion and upcycling, while the multi-criteria assessment methods allow to compare combined resource-recovery/remediation ELFM methods with the “Do-Nothing”, “Classic remediation” and “Classic landfill mining with (co-)incineration” scenarios. By training the ESRs in scientific, technical and soft skills, they become highly sought-after scientists and engineers for the rapidly emerging landfill-mining and broader raw-materials industries of Europe.

With the support of:


EURELCO is an open, quadruple helix network that supports the required technological, legal, social, economic, environmental and organisational innovation with respect to Enhanced Landfill Mining within the context of a transition to a resource efficient, circular, low-carbon economy. Currently, EURELCO hosts 58 contributing organisations representing a total of 3 EU Member States. Within the framework of EURELCO, three EU-funded projects have been developed: EU MSCA-ETN NEW-MINE, Interreg Europe COCOON, and Interreg NEW RAWFILL.

Cleantech Flanders

Cleantech Flanders is the contact in Flanders for all actors involved in cleantech.
Powered by VITO, and in collaboration with companies, research institutes, public bodies and civil society actors, Cleantech Flanders is a catalyst for innovation and implementation of clean technologies in society. We operate across sectors on multiple cleantech domains, including energy, materials, mobility and water.

In the topic on landfills we are involved in three projects: EURELCO, RAWFILL and COCOON.


COCOON is the interreg Europe project that aims to improve the regional policy on landfill management. 8 partners from 6 different regions participate in this project.

Although many EU regions are already implementing landfill management, no targeted, specific European landfill management legislation currently exists. Nor are existing Waste Management and Soil Protection policies integrated in an overarching circular economy framework.

Therefore, the COCOON objective is to develop, integrate and improve relevant policy instruments, while increasing subsidies through operational programmes (OPs) for landfill management projects. COCOON brings together distinct EU regions to share and capitalise on regional good practices. The six targeted policy instruments include :

  • The Soil Remediation Decree in Flanders (BE), the Environmental Protection Act in the Netherlands and
  • Funding of landfill management projects through the regional OPs in Andalucía (ES), Brandenburg (DE), Cyprus and Malta.
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