ENVT5005 Waste and the Circular Economy

6 points
(see Timetable)

If this unit does not have an online alternative, then students who are presently unable to enter Western Australia and whose studies would be delayed by an inability to complete this unit, should contact the unit coordinator (details given on this page) to ascertain, on an individual case-by-case basis, if alternate arrangements can be made to support their study in this unit.

Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face Predominantly face-to-face. On campus attendance required to complete this unit. May have accompanying resources online.
Global population size is expected to reach between 9.5 billion by 2050 and amongst the challenges facing the world is the need to develop effective and efficient methods of waste disposal. This unit focuses on the theoretical, practical and technological advances in waste processing allowing humanity to move toward a zero waste ecosystem. Academics and industrialists will cover the basic types of waste streams generated by our activities. They will cover the rationale and strategies behind zero waste policies and the current work in developing products from our wastes, such as energy and protein sources, which can then enter the circular economy. Enabling technologies such as anaerobic digestion, composting, biological reactors and algal biosystems will be explored as well as specific examples of industrial deployment through field visits and industry guest lecturers. This unit is modular and will include examples specific to terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems to allow students with different backgrounds to gain fundamental knowledge of waste processing, supplemented with examples pertinent to their study path.
Students are able to (1) evaluate the key types of waste streams, their compositions and how they can be handled for recycling; (2) evaluate the current state of the art approaches for waste recycling when applying them in the context of a circular economy; (3) characterise in detail the current technologies for waste recycling and assess the best options for the downstream usages of the outputs; and (4) develop new strategies to generate high value products and services from our waste streams, including energy and novel products..
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) short circular economy assignment; (2) industry led consultancy written report; and (3) consultancy report presentation. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Sasha Jenkins and Professor Steve Schilizzi
Unit rules
enrolment in the Master of Biotechnology (71580)
Contact hours
Lectures 15 x 1 hour Face to Face, 4 x 2hr Industry Tutorials, 2 x 6hr Industry Field Trips.
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.