Waste to profit: Closing the loop between production and disposal of waste

 Dirk Erler and Shane McIntosh at wastewater treatment plant

 The demand for food and fibre, and the generation of enormous quantities of waste, are putting ever increasing pressures on natural systems. Traditional disposal techniques for domestic and commercial wastes ultimately involve the use of landfill, whose environmental legacy will be felt for decades to come. At SCU we are investigating means to extract nutrients and energy from waste products and return them to agricultural producers, in a sense ‘closing the loop’ between production and disposal. We currently have a range of projects aimed at developing and testing of innovative technologies to turn wastes into nutrients, energy, and ultimately profit. The waste to profit research group is closely linked to local industry and other research organisations.