Landfill mining (LFM) is a new term for a commonly used approach of excavating landfilled waste in order to utilise the contained resources. The first project documented in the literature dates to the middle of the last century. Since then, major developments in technology, patterns of resource consumption, standards of living, the composition of landfilled waste and regulatory frameworks have ... [Show full abstract] marked the waste and resource management sector. This study reviewed the literature on landfill mining, focusing on the objectives, trends and findings of 60 landfill mining projects conducted during the period 1953 to 2009. The results show that the recycling of excavated materials has always been a main objective, but the focus has shifted from organic and mineral fractions for compost or cover material to the extraction of more valuable fractions such as metals. Other categorised objectives are environmental pollution concerns, recovery of landfill volume, landfill rehabilitation, land recycling and post-closure activities. Frequency distribution varies over time. Along with a focus on previous studies in the field of assessment of landfill mining activities, emphasis is placed on the current situation and potential in Austrian and German landfills.