Under the 2017 topic Zero waste management DIM ESEE project partners discussed several important questions. How to preserve natural resources? How to recycle and utilize mining and industrial waste as valuable resources for the building sector? How to reduce environmental impacts by these new approaches? The topics dealt with:

  • recycling in general – including legislation aspects, methods for recycling of mining and industry waste, selected good practices on steel slag; applications in building sector.
  • large-scale landfilling of industrial, mining, and municipal waste across the region, and its use in construction;
  • reclamation of contaminated areas, polluted by past industrial and mining activities;
  • demonstration of sustainable additional purifying of water from small wastewater treatment plant;
  • enhancing a circular economy through industrial symbiosis by demonstration on selected cases how to use big data mining and decision tools on one hand and demonstrating possible innovative processes and services, that enable product and material reuse, recycling, and recovery on the other hand; environmental impact and benefits of recycling waste –using Life Cycle Assessment tools.

As many of you didn’t have the chance to participate in 2017 school, we decided, inspired by your inquiries, to prepare the online course where we have made available all the 2017 lessons online. Online course consists of around 20 lessons delivered by renowned experts and academics in the field of mining, as well as the recordings of group presentations and discussions.



Below you can find the teaser from 2017 school and read more about last year’s lecturers and lessons they provided. We are expecting you at this year’s school, but before you join us, check what we did last year!



Title: Assist. Prof.
Faculty: Slovenian Building and Civil Engineering Institute
Dimičeva 12,
1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
GSM: +386 41 788 407

Ana Mladenovič is a Head of Laboratory for Stone, Aggregate and Recycled Materials and researcher with a background in geology and has more than 30 years of experience in the field of materials characterization. One of her key activities is the study of the characteristics of different types of waste, in particular industrial waste, and of possibilities for the recycling and beneficial use of such waste in applications related to the construction industry. Another important research field is the field of the remediation of polluted water and soils, where studies are focused on various remediation materials, methods and procedures, particularly with the use of nanoparticles of zero-valent iron. Her professional interests also include building pathology, with a special emphasis on the deterioration processes which occur in buildings and monumental stone works, as well as in concrete. These processes include both sulphate and alkali-aggregate reaction which was the topic of her doctoral dissertation. She has written or been the co-author on many scientific and technical papers in the fields of her research interests, the latter being published in scientific magazines and conference proceedings. She has also given several invited lectures, and is a co-author of the book “Slovenian Natural Stone”.

The phenomenon of climate change, which has already resulted in a lack of water and frequent drought periods, means that society needs to change its behavior. The sustainable use of water includes three elements: a reduction in the needs for water, the use of renewable sources of water, and the efficient use of water. The first part of the lecture will be dedicated to general presentation of importance of fresh water as an essential substance for living beings and the present and future consequences due to the water scarcity. One of the approaches for sustainable treatment of water is recycling of water from small municipal wastewater treatment plants and its reuse in the local community for different needs. The technology of cleaning is based on nanoparticles of zero-valent iron, which are very effective for the cleaning of water originating from small-scale wastewater treatment plants. The solid waste from the cleaning process are recycled in building composites. In the lecture, a life cycle assessment of the procedure will be presented and more detailed also a social life cycle assessment: change in people’s behavior.


Ferrous slags are industrial wastes which are generated during production of different types of steel. Due to large quantities and relatively constant properties are considered as one of the most promising materials for beneficial use in building sector. In the lecture several aspects of slag recycling will be presented. In the introduction, the terminology on slags, the background of the European policies on ferrous slag, production and types of ferrous slags and intrinsic properties of different types of ferrous slags will be given, with the focus on steel slag from carbon steel production, which is ranking as one of the most valuable types of slags. In the main part of the lecture production of slag aggregate and properties of slag aggregate itself and in comparison with natural aggregates will be presented as well as the most successful application of slag aggregate in asphalt layers in road construction, together with the typical field examples. Information about laboratory and field testing of aggregate and executed work will be provided with emphasis on eventual problems and obstacles. Example of life cycle assessment applied to use of slag aggregate will be presented, comparing to conventional aggregate. In the last part of the lecture an overview of other possible applications of ferrous slags in building sector will be given.


Contamination of soils with toxic metals is a major problem worldwide and is the subject of extensive research. Toxic metals are a group of poorly defined inorganic hazards, and among them, lead, chromium, arsenic, zinc, cadmium, copper, mercury, and nickel are most commonly found at contaminated sites. The type of toxic metal soil contamination is directly related to the operations that occurred at the site. The highest contaminations are associated with industrial and mining activities. In the lecture the most relevant issues of the subject will be discussed. In the introduction the topic will be the general background of soil contamination as well as soil immobilization and the most common remediation approaches. One of the most efficient immobilization additives are ashes from different incineration processes. Case example of in-situ remediation of Pb and Zn contaminated soil with ashes which are generated in paper industry will be presented in the main part of the lecture. The environmental aspects of in-situ remediation, especially in the light of efficient long-term immobilization of toxic metals and life cycle impacts of two scenarios regarding the treatment of contaminated soil, will be the topic of the last part of the lecture.

Title: Senior Professional Research Associate
Faculty: Slovenian National Building and Civil Engineering Institute, Department of Materials
Dimičeva ulica 12,
1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
GSM: +386 51 690 478

Alenka Mauko Pranjić is skilled in the microstructural analysis of geological materials using optical microscopy, fluorescent microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM/EDS), x-ray microscopy (microtomography), confocal microscopy, gas sorption and mercury porosimetry. In 2010 she was chair of the organising committee and a member of the scientific committee of the international conference: “Euroseminar on Microscopy Applied to Building Materials” (EMABM 2011). She has also been involved in numerous international projects in the fields of natural stone and construction composites with recycled wastes, as well as in the field of environmental, economic and social impacts (LCA, S-LCA and LCC). In past five years she has been the project coordinator of one international project and two national research projects, as well as being a workpackage leader in international research project. Beside research work she is active in promotion of science. She organized and led several workshops and seminars, represented research work on national television (ReBirth project, microtomography), international TV channels (e.g. ReBirth on Euronews), radio and in popular and expert magazines. She is author of three short documentary films and mobile exhibition and has been co-mentor to students at their diploma work. Beside her scientific work she is involved in researches for industry, mainly in natural stone (between 2007 and 2012 she was main researcher for natural stone for industry), recycled materials and microtomography field.


The Brundtland Commission of the United Nations defined sustainable development as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The conventional three pillars approach define sustainability in the term of people, planet and profit/prosperity (PPP) where life cycle perspective becomes important factor for achieving sustainability of the products, technologies, services, processes. Social LCA (S-LCA) is becoming in recent years more and more standardized and use in practice as well as Life cycle costing (LCC), including turning externalities such as CO2 emissions in costs. Never the less, the environmental LCA (E-LCA or usually just LCA) is most structured and globally standardized method, which quantify environmental evaluation of products (goods and services) as defined in ISO 14040 series. The lecture will include the history of LCA, information on methodology, development of impact categories, information on dedicated LCA softwares, environmental product declaration and about all practical examples and role of LCA in circular economy. Key words: sustainability, life cycle assessment, life cycle thinking, environmental product declaration, circular economy.


One of the principles of industrial symbiosis (IS) is “waste or by-product of one becoming the resource for another”. This is not valid only for material resources but also for energy, water, transport, knowledge and experiences, anything which symbiotically gain benefits for all involved parties. The main objective of the lecture is to show the theoretical knowledge on developing industrial symbiosis from early examples of Kalundborg Eco-Industrial Park in Denmark to current examples across Europe. Special emphasis will be given to identified opportunities for industrial symbiosis in regional environment of South East Europe as well as outcomes of EIT RawMaterials projects such as EIT RawMaterials network of infrastructure under name STORM: “Industrial Symbiosis for the Sustainable Management of Raw Materials”. Participants of this lecture would have possibility of experiencing the IS methodology by participating in matchmaking event. Key words: industrial symbiosis, circular economy, new circular economy business models, SME opportunities, STORM industrial symbiosis toolkits, matchmaking.


The recent EU action plan for the Circular Economy, while emphasizing the importance of primary raw materials and their continual role in production processes in a circular economy, is putting in the forefront importance of secondary raw materials. One of the possible ways for production of secondary raw materials is exploitation of deposited mining and processing wastes and tailings from heaps/landfills through processes of landfill mining. After extraction of valuable/critical secondary raw materials, a large quantity of remaining residues is left, which are excellent materials for the construction sector. The presentation will demonstrate best systematic approaches, technologies and practical examples of zero waste landfill mining.

Key words: landfill mining, mining wastes and residues, processing wastes, industrial wastes, zero waste approach, geotechnical works, construction materials, building composites.

Head of the Chair Montanuniversitaet Leoben
Chair of Waste Processing Technology and Waste Management
Franz-Josef-Straße 18,
8700 Leoben, Austria
GSM: +43 676 845 386 700

Univ.-Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.mont. Roland Pomberger is the head of the Chair of Waste Processing Technology and Waste Management (AVAW) (,7/) at the Montanuniversitaet Leoben. The university is well-known as one of the best in Austria, performing high-quality research in a wide range of technological areas like environmental and energy process engineering, including waste processing technology and waste management. He has worked on national and international projects in cooperation with different companies and institutions. Also, he is a member of national and international working groups, a scientific reviewer for various international journals and has received several honors and awards for his work. He has authored a wide range of publications in the scientific area of waste management and technology.


In this lesson, the dynamic visualization of European (EU 28) municipal waste management performance, using the Ternary Diagram Method, will be presented. Municipal waste management performance depends primarily on three treatment categories: recycling & composting, incineration and landfilling. The framework of current municipal waste management including recycling targets etc. is given by the Waste Framework Directive – 2008/98/EC. The proposed Circular Economy Package should stimulate Europe’s transition towards more sustainable resources and energy oriented waste management. The Package also includes a revised legislative proposal on waste that sets ambitious recycling rates for municipal waste for 2025 (60%) and 2030 (65%). Using Ternary Diagram Method, three types of visualization for the municipal waste management performance have been investigated and extensively described. Therefore, for better understanding of municipal waste management performance in last 20 years, dynamic visualization of the Eurostat table-form data on all 28 member states of the EU has been carried out in three different ways: 1. “Performance Positioning” of waste management unit(s) at a specific date; 2. “Performance dynamics” over a certain time period and; 3. “Performance development” expressed as a track(s). Results obtained show that the Ternary Diagram Method is very well suited to be used for better understanding of past developments and coherences, for monitoring of current situations and prognosis of future paths.

Title: Deputy of the Chair and Leader of a Working Group
Faculty: Montanuniversitaet Leoben
Department: Chair of Waste Processing Technology and Waste Management
Franz-Josef-Straße 18, 8700 Leoben, Austria
GSM: +43 676 845 386 805

Dr. Renato Sarc is the deputy of the Chair of Waste Processing Technology and Waste Management at Austrian Montanuniversitaet Leoben and leader of the working group “Waste Fuels” as well as a project leader of the competence center “ReWaste4.0” (Dr. Renato Sarc is the deputy of the Chair of Waste Processing Technology and Waste Management at Austrian Montanuniversitaet Leoben and leader of the working group “Waste Fuels” as well as a project leader of the competence center “ReWaste4.0” (,24/). In 2010 he finished his study on industrial environmental technology and waste management at the Montanuniversitaet Leoben (MUL) in Austria. In 2015 he finished his PhD study at MUL and the title of his PhD thesis is Design, Quality and Quality Assurance of Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF) for Achieving 100% Thermal Substitution in Cement Industry. He has gained additional qualifications in waste management like “waste manager” and “waste management officer”. He has worked on national and international projects in cooperation with different companies and institutions. Also, he is a member the ISWA Working Group on Energy Recovery and the International Waste Working Group, a scientific reviewer for WM&R, Waste Management etc. and has received several awards for his work. He has authored a wide range of publications in the scientific area of waste management.


The European Directive on waste (2008/98/EC) sets definitions and issues the basic concept for development of sustainable waste management in the EU. The proposed, new circular economy package of the EU supports further development of waste management into resource management. Separate collection of individual waste fractions (i.e. paper, glass, metals, plastics and bio-waste) is a pre-condition for fostering high quality recycling. Austrian municipal waste management is based on separate collection of valuable fractions and treatment of mixed municipal waste in incineration as well as MBT plants. Separation of valuable fractions like plastics and metals from mixed waste for recycling processes as well as unwanted materials like PVC plastics by using modern technology becomes very attractive as is increasingly applied in the sector. Recovery of thermal energy from mixed municipal solid waste usually is accomplished by mono-incineration plants or in co-incineration units. Three types of Solid Recovered Fuels (i.e. “SRF LOW Quality”, “SRF MEDIUM Quality” and “SRF PREMIUM Quality”) that are used in energy recovery plants are manufactured in Austrian mixed municipal waste system. In New Competence Centre for Excellent Technologies – K-Project “ReWaste4.0” Industry 4.0 approaches in waste management are investigated. Finally, all mentioned issues will be presented and discussed in the lesson.

Title: Professor
Faculty of Mining, Geology and Petroleum Engineering
Department of Mining and Geotechnical Engineering
Pierottijeva 6, 10002 Zagreb, Croatia
GSM: +385 91 4605412

In 1988 she graduated mining engineering-geotechnics, in 1994 obtained Master of Science degree and in 2000 PhD in technical sciences, at the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Mining, Geology and Petroleum Engineering. Since 2014 she works as a Full Professor at the Faculty of Mining, Geology and Petroleum Engineering in Zagreb. She teaches the following courses: Soil mechanics, Ground improvement and Environmental Geotechnics. She published over 50 articles in journals and at international conferences. She was principal investigator at three national projects; collaborator in two international projects. She was a national coordinator of the network of excellence IAEA RER/9/103 Training in Radioactive Waste Disposal Technologies using Underground Research Facilities, 2009. – 2014. She attended several international workshops related to radioactive waste management. She was at scholarships and academic visits in TU Delft, TU Gdansk, UC Boulder and Ljubljana. She is a member of:
– HATZ – Croatian academy of engineering
– SOMP – Society of Mining Professors
– IGS – International Geosynthetics Society
– ISRM – International Society for Rock Mechanics
– ISSMGE – International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering
– Croatian Geotechnical Society
– Croatian Association of Mining Engineers
– Croatian technical committee 221 – Geosynthetics


The new engineering sub-discipline called environmental geotechnics has been developed in the last 30 years as an interdisciplinary science covering different aspects of mutual interactions between engineering structures and environment. Major addressed issues are: prevention and minimization of natural hazards, environmental impact assessment of the manmade constructions, waste management, remediation of contaminated site, reuse of waste as a construction material, and application of geosynthetics. With illustrative example in waste disposal practice, through site selection procedure, design of hydraulic barriers, and assessment of the long term performance of GCLs a variety of geotechnical topics such as investigation methods, selection of design parameters and monitoring will be presented.

Title: Senior assistant
Faculty: Faculty of Mining, Geology and Petroleum Engineering
Department of Mining and Geotechnical Engineering
Pierottijeva 6, 10002 Zagreb, Croatia
GSM: +385 99 4122 199

Education: Master (2008) and PhD degree (2014) in Mining Engineering at the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Mining, Geology and Petroleum Engineering. Work experience: PhD researcher 2009-2014 at Faculty of Mining, Geology and Petroleum Engineering – Department of Mining and Geotechnical Engineering; currently the Postdoc researcher at the same institution. Teaching activity: Laboratory classes in mineral processing, physical separation, recycling and waste treatment, summer practice in bauxite mines. CEEPUS teacher at Montanuniversität Leoben, Chair for Mineral Processing in 03/2017 (OeAD, RAMSIS – Raw Materials Smart Innovation Strategies in ESEE Region). Research activity and interests integrate waste management, mineral processing and life cycle assessment. Membership in International Society for Industrial Ecology and Croatian Association of Mining Engineers. Participant in EU funded projects H2020 MinGuide – Guidance for innovation friendly minerals policy in Europe and Cost Action ES1407 European network for innovative recovery strategies of rare earth and other critical metals from electric and electronic waste (ReCreew). Membership in International Society for Industrial Ecology and Croatian Association of Mining Engineers.

Use of quartz/silica, specifically in glass, foundry, metallurgy and ceramics is closely related to industrial development of the world. First use of quartz for metallurgy and glass ranges to 5 000 – 3 000 BC. In recent past and today new uses of silica are related to development of information technology, solar panels and „clean” energy. The multitude of uses, its abundance in Earth and simple surface extraction make the silica one of the raw materials that are very common and “invisible” but irreplaceable. For the industry uses, the quartz sand deposits with ~ 95% SiO2 are used. That includes various types of deposits such as sandstone, quartzite, and weakly cemented or un-cemented sand deposits. Typical supply chain of silica sand for glass industry includes surface mining, mineral processing and transport to a glass factory. In 2012 Croatia had confirmed reserves of 40 million tons and long tradition of exploitation and processing. Average production of raw silica sand in Croatia was 150 thousand tons. The case study assesses life cycle impacts of glass grade silica, cradle to gate, for three alternatives comprised of substantially different beneficiation techniques: electrostatic and magnetic, flotation and gravity separation. While the first two were considered at project design level, the last one was actually used until 2012 at Jerovec plant in North-western Croatia. The lecture focusses on material flow analysis and LCA conducted in the PhD research.

Title: Assistant Professor
Faculty: Faculty of Mining, Geology and Petroleum Engineering
Department of Mining and Geotechnical Engineering
Pierottijeva 6, 10002 Zagreb, Croatia
GSM: +385 91 8833382

Ivan Sobota was born on November 5, 1970 in Zagreb, Croatia. He graduated in Mining Engineering from the Faculty of Mining, Geology and Petroleum Engineering, University of Zagreb in 2000 (course of study: Geotechnics) and obtained a PhD degree in Mining Engineering in 2009. From 2001 until 2012, he was employed as a junior researcher, and from 2012 to this day as an assistant professor, at the same faculty at the Department of Mining and Geotechnical Engineering. Dr. Sobota teaches a course, ‘Basics of Ecology and Environmental Protection’, at undergraduate study and courses: ‘Environmental Protection in Mining Engineering’, ‘Soil Washing’, ‘Air Protection’ and ‘Environmental Management’ at graduate study. He has been an assistant on several research projects and is the author/co-author of a number of scientific and professional papers. His research interests cover the fields of mineral processing, air pollution control, soil remediation and environmental management in mining activities. He is assistant manager of the Laboratory for Mineral Processing and Environmental Protection at the Department of Mining and Geotechnical Engineering. Dr. Sobota is a member of the Society of Croatian Mining Engineers and member of the Croatian Technical Committee 207 – Environmental Management.

Tailings disposal has been identified as a major environmental concern regarding mining activities. The problem is becoming more challenging with the increasing metal production, exploitation of lower-grade ore deposits and stricter environmental legislation. Although, in accordance with the modern concept of waste management hierarchy, the most desirable tailings management options are reducing generation and reprocessing of tailings in order to use them as a useful product or to recover additional values, the most common present practice is to contain the tailings within a purpose built surface impoundments (tailings storage facilities). To reduce environmental impacts of tailings storage facilities (visual effects, land take, water and soil pollution, impacts on humans, animals, plants and/or property) and the risk of any impoundment failures to a minimum, they should be designed, constructed, operated, controlled and decommissioned in a safe, environmentally and economically sound manner.

The main topics covered by the lecture include:

  • generation, types and characteristics of tailings,
  • main environmental problems related to tailings disposal,
  • alternative approaches to tailings disposal (tailings disposal methods),
  • general objectives and design criteria in planning tailings storage facilities (site selection, construction, operation, water management, closure, reclamation and environmental considerations)
  • types and constructions of surface tailings impoundments,
  • examples from mining and extractive metallurgical practice.



Lectures and presentations are available on Vimeo platform, however there is a password required. In order to get access to the materials, you have to pay the tuition fee for online course. To proceed, please fill out the registration form below and wait for the further instructions.

After listening to the lectures, you can take a short test and if you do well, you will be awarded 2 ECTS points.


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