Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Candidates Goodluck Jonathan and Mohamudu Buhari call for calm

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Anger at mental health stigmatisation after crash allegations

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Yemen, the Escalation; France's Three Way Race; Clarkson Shown the Exit (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Germanwings Crash; Co-pilot 'hid illness' on crash day (part 1)

Read more

#THE 51%

The extraordinary tale of the Egyptian mother who lived as a man

Read more

REPORTERS

Video: San Cristobal, Venezuela's tinderbox

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

France's chronic umemployment problem

Read more

FOCUS

Portugal: Anger at corruption scandals, one year after bailout

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

Bistronomy: Stylish and simple eating

Read more

We travel across the globe and meet the people behind the most fascinating environmental, health and technological innovations in a bid for sustainable solutions to our changing world. Every other Sunday at 8.40 pm.

DOWN TO EARTH

DOWN TO EARTH

Latest update : 2013-09-24

Sweden: Mining for urban treasure

In industrial cities, thousands of cables and pipes are left abandoned under our feet. It's a valuable source of metal that could be given a second chance. Join the team in downtown Sweden as we explore whether our cities are the mines of the future.

This week we're in Sweden, on a hunt for urban treasure. Beneath many of its downtown streets lies a bounty of abandoned metal trapped in forgotten cables and pipes.

We meet the Swedish prospectors who believe cities will be the mines of the future. Researchers from Linköping University have shown the amount of copper under the pavements is equal to that found in the country's traditional mines.

Today it's too expensive to dig up this network of underground infrastructure, which includes copper as well as iron and aluminium, but efforts are underway to change the economics of urban mining.

Austrian-based company Kabel-X has developed technology that can extract up to 400 metres of copper in one piece. As Sweden's telecommunications provider makes the switch to fibre optic cables, it could be the perfect opportunity to tap into this reservoir of metal and give it a second life.

By Mairead DUNDAS , Marina BERTSCH , Juliette LACHARNAY , Emilie COCHAUD

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2015-03-15 agriculture

Agriculture: When farms turn into factories

It's time to end the myth once and for all. The farms in children's books are history. Today's agriculture is increasingly industrial and only those who adapt will survive. In...

Read more

2015-02-15 carbon emissions

Forests worth more alive than dead

We are Down to Earth in Peru on a police patrol to La Pampa, a wasteland on the outskirts of the Amazon. In the last six years 50,000 hectares of rainforest have been obliterated...

Read more

2014-11-16 Mexico

Drought emergency

After one of the driest periods in history, 2014 is on track to be the hottest since records began. How do we adapt to these extreme climate conditions which may be here to stay ?

Read more

2015-01-18 carbon emissions

Hydrogen, fuel of the future?

Is the universe's most abundant element the best alternative to petrol? As Toyota rolls out its first hydrogen fuel cell car, the Down to Earth team explores how this technology...

Read more

2014-10-19 carbon emissions

Climate therapy

Greenhouse gas emissions are rising at the fastest rate in three decades. Meteorologists warn the world is running out of time. In this episode, the Down to Earth team explores...

Read more