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The University of Southampton

Academia and industry to work together to develop new waste management techniques

Published: 5 January 2004

Academics from leading UK universities and representatives from industry are to work together to research more effective techniques for waste management in urban environments in an effort to influence government policy in this field.

The project, 'Waste Resource Management in Urban Environments', is being led by the University of Southampton and has been awarded £1.5M from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to carry out research over a four-year period.

The project team will consider the tools and methodologies needed for sustainable waste management in urban environments. It aims to achieve a full understanding of the resource cycle in terms of materials, energy, environmental and social implications of waste management and to use these as a basis for technical decisions and future policy. Within this brief, it will address issues such as: whether one central waste facility would be more effective than several smaller ones; and whether the design of housing affects how people manage their waste. It will also assess the energy implications of waste.

"As a country we have targets to meet in terms of waste and if we don't try to meet them we will end up treating waste in the same way as we have always done," comments Professor William Powrie at the University of Southampton's School of Civil Engineering and the Environment. "Above all, we need to consider the energy balances and if we do this we will be able to decide on solutions which are really sustainable."

The project team consists of the following members: University of Southampton, Imperial College, Goldsmiths College, University of Sheffield, University College London, University of Surrey, Hampshire County Council, Cambridgeshire County Council, Southampton City Council, Cleanaway Ltd, Onyx Environmental Group Plc, Viridor Waste Management, Grundon Ltd, Maltin Pollution Control Systems, Greenfinch Plc, EcoSys, the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management, the Environmental Services Association Research Trust, CIRIA, Hampshire Natural Resources Trust, Furniture Recycling Network, SCRATCH, RSNC Biffaward and the BOC Foundation.

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