Landfill mining and reclamation (LFMR) is a process whereby solid wastes which have previously been landfilled are excavated and processed. The function of landfill mining is to reduce the amount of landfill mass encapsulated within the closed landfill and/or temporarily remove hazardous material to allow protective measures to be taken before the landfill mass is replaced. In the process, mining recovers valuable recyclable materials, a combustible fraction, soil, and landfill space. The aeration of the landfill soil is a secondary benefit regarding the landfill's future use. The combustible fraction is useful for the generation of power. The overall appearance of the landfill mining procedure is a sequence of processing machines laid out in a functional conveyor system. The operating principle is to excavate, sieve and sort the landfill material.
The concept of landfill mining was introduced as early as 1953 at the Hiriya landfill operated by the Dan Region Authority next to the city of Tel Aviv, Israel. Waste contains many resources with high value, the most notable of which are non-ferrous metals such as aluminium cans and scrap metal. The concentration of aluminium in many landfills is higher than the concentration of aluminum in bauxite from which the metal is derived.