The following journal articles have been published by the RRfW programme. For details of our other publications, including posters, presentations and project publications, please visit our ResearchGate page.

Co-producing a vision and approach for the transition towards a Circular Economy: Perspectives from Government Partners.
Anne Velenturf, Phil Purnell , Mike Tregent , John Ferguson , Alan Holmes (2018) Sustainability, 10, 1401; doi: 10.3390/su10051401 (Previously available at Preprints 2018, doi: 10.20944/preprints201802.0024.v1. Published online: 05 Feb 2018). Open Access.

The Resource Recovery from Waste programme (RRfW) promotes a transition towards waste and resource management in a circular economy that restores the environment, creates societal benefits and promotes clean growth by engaging relevant actors in the transition process. RRfW collaborates with academia, government and industry to co-produce a shared vision and approach to realise such a transition. Reflecting insights from RRfW’s government engagement, this article presents a positive outlook for changing the UK economy and society. Four themes and an approach are proposed, including recommendations for regulatory instruments and a stable policy framework. Key messages are discussed in the following RRfW blog.

On a voyage of recovery: a review of the UK’s resource recovery from waste infrastructure.
Phil Purnell (2017) Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure, doi:10.1080/23789689.2017.1405654 Open Access. Published online: 08 Dec 2017

This paper presents an overview of the UK’s Resource Recovery from Waste (RRfW) infrastructure. It introduces the waste management sector and its evolution into a resource recovery industry supporting a circular economy, and analyses key public-domain sources to review existing and planned infrastructure investment, regulation, capacity and new technologies. Chronic data deficiencies, political uncertainties, regulatory context and fiscal issues are major barriers to the sustainable development of the sector and are impeding progress towards the professed goal of achieving a circular economy. The paper is discussed in this RRfW blog and was presented at the Westminster Energy, Environment and Transport forum in January 2018.

Resource recovery from waste: Restoring the balance between resource scarcity and waste overload
Anne Velenturf and Phil Purnell (2017) Sustainability, 9 (9), 1603; doi:10.3390/su9091603 Open Access.

This article aims to explain the rationale for initiating the RRfW programme, outlining the need for a Circular Economy that contributes to a resilient environment and human well-being. It discusses waste and resource management in relationship to ecosystem stewardship, environmental and social boundaries, and economic models. It proposes that a participation approach is needed to engage the multiple stakeholders required for transformative changes, and concludes with the participatory strategy adopted by RRfW to illustrate how academia can play a leading role in the transition towards a Circular Economy. Read more about this paper on the RRfW blog.

Mini-project reports

Evolution of Mechanical Heat Treatment for resource recovery from Municipal Solid Waste in the UK
Anne Velenturf, Eleni Iacovidou, Kok Siew Ng, Joel Millward-Hopkins (2018). Open Access.

View or download the report (pdf).

This report is the outcome of the RRfW mini-project ‘Formulating the Environmental and Social Business Case for a Resource Recovery from Waste Process‘. The mini-project explored the potential for higher value applications of fibre recovered through a steam rotating autoclave (a form of a Mechanical Heat Treatment process). The report reviews the trends driving change in the composition and volume of residual municipal solid waste in the UK, and the evolution of the waste infrastructure required for its management. Analysis of a number of economic scenarios identifies the potential for recovering resource from the residual waste stream using this emerging technology, yet further research is required to fully assess the opportunities and challenges associated with each scenario. The report concludes by outlining that the processing of segregated waste streams, such as coffee cups, could significantly increase the quality of recovered resources and enable higher value applications.