Workshop Details - Waste Transformation Research Hub

Creating the Research Hub for Waste Transformation

The proposed Waste Transformation Research Hub represents an opportunity for Australia to move to the forefront of waste technologies internationally. Its integration of advanced waste-management and waste-processing technologies – jointly driven by current industry leaders and world-class University of Sydney researchers – will generate economic, social and environmental benefits for our nation and for the international community.

Australia’s future waste industry needs deep transformation built on the concept of a circular economy. Social and regulatory factors will encourage maximum reduction, reuse and recycling of waste, and innovative business models will incentivise product and packaging designers to maximise material recovery through whole-systems thinking.

Australia’s waste challenge

In Australia, as around the globe, more waste is being produced than ever before, due to increasing populations, increasing resource consumption per person and prevalence of single-use products.

transforming waste

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics:

  • the total annual volume of waste generated in Australia nearly doubled between 1997 and 2007, from 22.7 million to 43.8 million tonnes
  • the annual volume of waste generated per person similarly increased over the same period, from 1.2 to 2.1 tonnes
  • the total annual volume of waste sent to landfill also increased between 2001 and 2007, from 19 million to 21.3 million tonnes.

About the Waste Transformation Research Hub

The Waste Transformation Research Hub will develop new technologies to transform materials that are currently considered waste into energy and other high-value products.

Led by the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies, the multidisciplinary research team will apply its existing expertise in process intensification (PI) – an approach that blends the economies of large-scale plants with the flexibility and effectiveness of micro-scale processes – to deliver higher manufacturing productivities and enhanced value for industry.