Moving from rubbish to resource

News | Posted on Tuesday 26 September 2017

Through a series of talks and a highly dynamic ‘soapbox’ session, YESI raised awareness of research at the University of York around waste.

During the event, hosted by YESI Director and Research Champion for Environmental Resilience and Sustainability Professor Sue Hartley, speakers from a range of departments and institutions presented their different perspectives on waste. Speakers included:

  • Prof Nik Brown from the Department of Sociology on anthropological conceptions of waste
  • Dr Jonathan Finch from the Department of Archaeology on historic waste management
  • Dr Avtar Matharu from the Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence on waste and the circular economy
  • Dr Steve Cinderby from the Stockholm Environment Institute York on household food waste
  • Dr Carrie Bradshaw from the York Law School on the legal governance of food waste
  • Dr Richard Friend from the Department of Environment on waste management in low and middle income countries

The soapbox talk was also highly popular with participants given 3 minutes to explain their research projects, ideas for events or their expertise in waste management. The event ended with a discussion, allowing attendees to network with those interested in the field and to discuss the funding opportunities presented by the YESI team.    

A series of take-home messages were communicated throughout the event including that ‘waste management requires open and new ways of thinking’ (Dr Avtar Matharu), although ‘we can also learn a lot from past practices’ (Dr Jonathan Finch) and ‘that we should share lessons learned with other countries’ (Dr Richard Friend). The ‘definition of waste is also crucial when we come to analysing and managing waste’ (Dr Carrie Bradshaw). The key message however, was that interdisciplinary research is required to understand and address the many issues associated with waste.

Following on from the event, YESI will be supporting collaborations amongst the attendees and future events will be held.