Promoting resource recovery from waste in the UK

Posted on: 07/03/2018

The Resource Recovery from Waste programme aims to deliver the environmental science needed to support a radical change in waste management.


Resource Recovery from Waste (RRfW) is a collaborative research programme engaging academia, industry, government and the general public to develop knowledge and tools to reduce pressure on natural resources and create value from wastes.

It is funded by NERC, ESRC and Defra with the aim of delivering “the science needed to accomplish a paradigm shift in the recovery of resources from waste‚Äù.

They have a number of current activities of relevance to those working within sustainability and circular economy areas.

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How can companies promote resource recovery in the UK?

RRfW are currently conducting a survey to hear views from companies and professional bodies as to how they see the future of resource recovery in the UK. They intend to co-produce a vision for resource recovery as part of a circular economy and develop an approach to realise it together with industry, government and academia.

They are particularly interested in:

  • What the future waste and resource management landscape should look like
  • Key drivers and barriers for resource recovery and circular economy
  • Actions needed from industry, government, and academia to increase resource recovery

Responses are sought from companies active in sectors such as “traditional” waste management and reprocessing, extractive industries, manufacturing, bioenergy as well as those working in consultancy, insurance, investment and others.

You can find out more and take part in the survey here.

Knowledge exchange workshop, 27 April 2018, Leeds

RRfW is hosting a knowledge exchange workshop on 27 April 2018 in Leeds. The workshop will focus on vanadium recovery from steel slag landfills and will give insight into the environmental technologies developed on the programme.

In addition, RRfW will ask participants for their knowledge and experience to carry out a policy analysis, identifying drivers and barriers for resource recovery in general and for specific technologies, and identify which actors could drive required changes in the policy and regulation landscape. The outcomes of this research will be integrated into policy recommendations for governmental bodies throughout the UK.

For more details and to register for workshop please click here.

Critically assessing current circular economy activity

A new EU €3.8 million research project, CRESTING (Circular Economy: Sustainability implications and guiding progress), is to focus on critically assessing current circular economy activity and drawing out lessons that can be applied to managing the transformation to a full circular economy.

Dr Pauline Deutz, who leads the CRESTING project, is a team member of the RRfW project R3AW where she has applied her interest in the political economy of waste to R3AW’s multidisciplinary setting.

You can find out more about the CRESTING project here.

Review concludes British infrastructure not ready for circular economy

A recent review by RRfW looked at whether our current and planned waste and resource recovery infrastructure is ready to deliver the goal of a circular economy and starkly concludes that it isn’t ready and neither is it likely to be without radical interventions. This review was presented at the Westminster Energy, Environment and Transport forum in January and chimed with a number of other talks.

You can find out more and access the review here.


If you would like to discuss opportunities and support mechanisms for innovation in resource recovery from waste please contact a member of KTN’s Sustainability & Circular Economy Team.


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