Resource Recovery from Waste Annual Conference 2017

Making the Business Case for Resource Recovery

22nd November 2017, Cloth Hall Court, Leeds

The Resource Recovery from Waste programme held its Annual Conference on 22nd November this year, at the Cloth Hall Court in Leeds, attracting around 70 participants from across academia, industry and government. The conference examined both the conceptual ideas and practical experiences on the formulation of business cases for resource recovery as a part of the circular economy.

The conference proceedings (pdf), summarises the key messages coming out of the conference, whilst the conference programme (pdf), contains a record of the day, including the talk abstracts. Presentations from the day are available to download via links in the schedule below. Some photos from the day can be found below this. The conversations during this conference form the basis for the RRfW open access research paper on ‘Making the business case for resource recovery‘.


Time (hrs) Item
9.00 – 9.30 Arrival and registration
9.30 – 9.40 Welcome by conference chair. Conference opening.
9.40 – 10.10 Keynote: David Fatscher, British Standards Institution. The first global circular business model standard BS8001
10.10 – 10.40 Keynote: Prof Jan Jonker, Radboud University.  Circular Economy: the quest for a changing focus in value creation in industry and government.
10.40 – 11.00 Refreshment break
11.00 – 11.30 Keynote: Prof Phil Purnell, University of Leeds. On a voyage of recovery: a preliminary review of the UK’s resource recovery from waste infrastructure.  Also available with Commentary.
11.30 – 12.00 Keynote: Dr Ian Archer, Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC). Biorefining Potential for Scotland – and opportunities for everywhere else!
12.00 – 13.00 Lunch and networking
13.00 – 14.00 Specialist sessions and discussions

I. Creating value from wastes in the bioeconomy

II. Recovering materials from mine legacy landfills

III. New sustainability assessments and models

14.00 – 14.30 Group activities to identify academic, industry and government challenges when making the business case for resource recovery
14.30 – 15.00 Refreshment break
15.00 – 15.30 Panel discussion with chairs of specialist sessions to feed back results of discussions
15.30 – 16.00 Keynote: Libby Peake, Green Alliance. UK resources strategy after Brexit.
16.00 – 16.30 Keynote: Prof Ian Boyd, Chief Scientific Advisor Defra. A Government Perspective on Resource Recovery from Waste. 
16.30 – 16.45 Open discussion and sum up of meeting
16.45 Close

Conference Gallery

David Fatscher from the British Standards Institution kicked off the day by talking about the work that has gone into developing the new standard for the circular economy, which takes the theory and provides a road map to put it into practice.
Prof Jan Jonker
Prof Jonker, Radboud University, addressed the transition from the linear to circular economy, and the choices that need to be made on the way, in his keynote talk.
David Newman from the Bio-based and Biodegradable Industries Association talked in the specialist session on the need for a carbon tax and its implications
Carmen Falagan, Bangor University, presenting in the specialist session on work from the B3 project on recovering valuable metals from mine waste using bioleaching.
Keynote speaker Libby Peake, Green Alliance, puts the discussions into context by looking at Brexit and other pressures, such as China’s crack down on receiving waste for recycling, and the opportunities and risks these raise for realising a circular economy in the UK.
Keynote speaker Prof Ian Boyd, Chief Scientific Advisor for Defra, gave attendees an insight into the government’s current thinking on resources and waste, and how the policy landscape may evolve in response.