The knowledge base of Europe’s urban mine

The ProSUM project developed the very first EU-wide and open-access Urban Mine Platform (UMP). This dedicated web portal is populated by a centralised database containing all readily available data on market inputs, stocks in use and hibernated, compositions and waste flows of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE), vehicles and batteries for all EU 28 Member States plus Switzerland and Norway.

The UMP’s user-friendly design features dedicated applications, allowing the user to select and produce charts and to download resulting data ‘on-demand’ in a quick manner. The knowledge base is complemented with an extensive library of more than 800 source documents and databases. With the ability to view the metadata, methodologies, calculation steps and data constraints and limitations are made explicit, allowing the user to review key information and to get an idea of the data quality of the sources used for this massive prospecting effort.

Our short animation will tell you more about what we did:

A number of dynamic charts allow the user to access detailed data and market intelligence on:

1. The Urban Mine representing the number and type of products placed on the market, in-stock (in use and hibernated) and generated as waste.

2. The Compositions specified for key components, materials and elements, such as aluminium, copper, gold or neodymium, contained in batteries, EEE and vehicle products.

3. The Waste Flows, including reported collection amounts, estimates for small batteries and EEE products in unsorted municipal solid waste, certain complementary batteries and EEE recycling flows, exported used vehicles and unknown whereabouts of vehicles, batteries and electronics.

UMP Chart 2

This work has been innovative in that it has taken available data from a very unstructured and wide range of published documents and unpublished data and created a system for harmonising and structuring this data. This is done by means of a new classification system and harmonisation code lists for all elements, materials and components in products which are feeding the carefully designed ProSUM Unified Data Model. This provides the ability to easily update, maintain and expand the data behind the platform in the future. 

The centralised database built on the Unified Data Model includes data for products put on the market, in use or hibernated in-stocks within the Urban Mine, the waste generated at end of life, and the flows of waste generated. The data includes those elements and materials found to be of high abundance in these waste products. This includes mainly base metals, precious metals and those also listed as CRM. Some glass and plastics data is also recorded and provided although this was not a focus of the project.