Waste Management and Circular Economy: Turning a Problem into a Solution

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  • DATE / TIME:
    2019/11/19    10:00 - 11:30
    Dresden, Germany

    Lecturer: Prof. Hiroshan Hettiarachchi (Head of Waste Management Unit, UNU-FLORES)

    We are already consuming natural resources at a rate faster than nature can replenish. This is mainly due to the centuries-old linear economic model that we practise today, in which we “take” from nature to “make” things and “use” them to finally “trash” as waste. When the demand goes up due to an increased population or consumption habits, the linear economy forces us to borrow more and more from nature. Resource depletion is not the only problem created by the linear economy: it also leaves us mounds of waste that we have not been able to manage well so far. Clearly, we have two major problems to solve. What if we turn one of the problems into a solution to the other? Interestingly, this is exactly what will happen if we transition our economy into a circular one. In a circular economy, much of the material that we discard now as trash, is channelled back to the production stage via a recovery process. The more we recover/recycle, the less we need to borrow from nature, solving one of the problems. The more we recover/recycle, the less we must manage as waste, solving the other problem as well. The efficiency of the solution depends very much not only on how fast we recognise the material value locked in waste, but also on how innovative we can be to propose methods to unlock this value.

    Nexus Seminar Series

    UNU-FLORES, in collaboration with PRISMA – Centre for Sustainability Assessment and Policy on behalf of TU Dresden, is excited to announce the Nexus Seminar Series. The joint seminar series, which launched in 2015, features lectures by senior scholars that highlight all dimensions of research on the Nexus Approach, ranging from hands-on implementation strategies to theoretical debates. The Nexus Seminars serve not only as a platform for scientific exchange and cooperation between UNU-FLORES and TU Dresden but also a medium for the partner institutions to discuss their research with a broader audience.

    Taking place once a month, each seminar is open to the public and held alternatingly at UNU-FLORES and TU Dresden.

    Please find all past Nexus Seminars here.

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