The United Kingdom buries over 18.8 million tonnes of household waste each year. Frankly, that’s a lot of trash. In fact, it’s two million tonnes more than any other country in Europe.
Lucky for them, researchers at Teesside University may have a solution to their growing waste problem.
The team received £1.76m to find innovative uses for waste in North East England. Both industrial and household waste will be explored, as well as looking at curbside waste.
The money was funded to the Industrial Symbiosis team within the University’s Clean Environment Management Centre (CLEMANCE). This money will help them reach their target goal of reducing CO2 by over 250,000 tonnes and preventing 250,000 tonnes of waste going to landfill. It will also help provide assistance to 40 enterprises each year.
The money will allow CLEMANCE to explore new uses for everything from household waste to plastics.
CLEMANCE Senior Practitioner Kirk Bridgewood explained that “the study was prompted by the recent collapse in the market for recycled items, which could potentially give councils a major problem if they are unable to sell the collected materials. In addition, there were stories about materials being stockpiled because no one wanted to buy. We want to find out ways of making sure that does not happen again and we will also be looking at the amount of materials exported to places like China.
“We want to see if there are ways in which materials can be recycled in the North East of England instead. Plastics are a good example. There are companies in this area that could use discarded plastics as raw materials.”
Read more from Teesside University and their ongoing projects and research.
Image courtesy of euinfrastructure.com