ENVT5005 Waste and the Circular Economy

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
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) online Test; (2) industry led desktop consultancy 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)
Associate Professor James Fogarty
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.
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