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Sustainable approach towards extractive waste management: Two case studies from Italy

Giovanna Antonella Dino, Neha Mehta, Piergiorgio Rossetti, Ajmone-Marsan, Franco and Domenico Antonio De Luca

Resources Policy, 2018, vol. 59, issue C, 33-43

Abstract: Europe is confronted with an increasing risk of supply of critical raw materials (CRM) and secondary raw materials (SRM). Major parts of the economy depend on the supply of raw materials, a fact acknowledged by policymakers and scientists in Europe. Recent economic and geopolitical developments led to the focus on reuse and recycling of waste products to secure supply of raw materials. Consequently, to tackle the supply-risk challenge extractive waste (EW) present in mining dumps should be approached as opportunities as source of raw materials. Interdisciplinary studies are required with respect to correct estimation of raw materials present in extractive waste dumps, identify their reusability, and to measure the threats posed by EW dumps to local population. In present study, site investigation and geochemical analysis was performed to identify the metals present in waste dumps from two abandoned mine sites in Italy. These two sites are 1) Campello Monti, Piedmont used for Ni extraction 2) Gorno, Lombardy used for Zn and Pb exploitation in past. The study also focused on risk analysis to measure effects on human health due to dispersion and transfer of contaminants from waste dumps. In Campello Monti, it was observed that EW was rich in Ni, Co and Cu concentration. It was also observed that there was presence of carcinogenic risk due to As in the area. In Gorno, Zn ,Cd and Ga were found to be present in abundance. It was also noticed that, there was presence of carcinogenic risk (RI > 1 x 10-6) due to arsenic in Gorno, which had an RI equal to 72.2 × 10−6. The present research highlights the need to measure potential value of EW dumps for reusing and measuring environmental impacts. Thus, leading to the sustainable management of waste including both economic and environmental benefits.

Date: 2018
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