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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Postgraduate Courses (School of GeoSciences)

Postgraduate Course: Resource Recovery and Circular Economy (PGGE11300)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis module integrates waste principles, concepts, and technologies and demonstrates how they can be implemented in practice enabling students to be able to evaluate the economics of waste reduction, recycling and recovery. Key concepts within waste management such as the primark effect, circular versus a linear economy, and resource efficiency are addressed together with links between waste production and GDP. Students are introduced to a variety of waste treatment methodologies in keeping with the EU waste hierarchy, and have the opportunity to analyse each methodology in terms of the three pillars of sustainability.
Course description Content

Waste Policy and Guidance
Historical and current legal requirements for waste management outlining the role of the waste hierarchy and drive towards resource efficiency and a zero waste policy.

Waste reduction
At the top of the waste hierarchy the reduction of waste is considered the most resource efficient and sustainable method for dealing with waste. Legislative and socio-economic drivers of this waste management strategy will be highlighted together with discussion i.e. Love Food Hate Waste, Packaging Directive and Producer Responsibilities.

Waste re-use and recycling
Collection and reuse of reclaimable wastes (e.g. tyres, asphalt, wood) and the role of third sector organisations. Collection of recyclable materials. Separation of recyclable materials. Comparison of different approaches to material recycling, including economics, environmental effects and market size. Comparison of economics of recycling and disposal. Recycling and reduction technologies for a range of materials, e.g. organic materials; metal, glass, plastic; hazardous chemicals.

Energy Recovery
Comparison of a range of energy recovery technologies, e.g. incineration, pyrolysis, gasification and landfill gas burning.

Socio-economic drivers
Links between GDP and waste generation will be analysed, together with a discussion of waste generation in developed versus developing countries. Evaluation of whether or not situational variables (such as socio-demographics, access and provision) will be undertaken with regards influence on recycling behaviour.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  40
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Group Infographic with Peer Review: 20% (LO1 and 2) «br /»
«br /»
Research Policy Brief / Communication (1000 words): 40% (LO 1 and 4) «br /»
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Podcast on a Topical Waste Issue: 40% (LO2 and 3)
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Explain the framework of legislation for resource efficiency and waste minimisation, re-use, recycling and recovery
  2. Evaluate operational practices and facilities for waste management
  3. Review the economics of recycling and understand the likely path of future developments
  4. Critically assess waste recovery technologies including energy from waste as an alternative to landfill.
Reading List
Key reading items:
Hansen J A (1996). Management of urban biodegradable wastes. Pub James & James (Science Publishers), Ltd, London. ISBN 1-873936 58 8 (SAC Craibstone Library).
Manser A G R, Keeling A A (1996). Practical handbook of processing and recycling on municipal waste. Pub CRC Lewis London, ISBN 1-56670-164.3 £61.00 (SAC Craibstone Library).
O'Riordan, T, (2000) Environmental Science for Environmental Management. Prentice Hall. ISBN 0582 356334. Chapter 18. (Restricted to library)
Middleton, N, 2003. The Global Casino: An introduction to environmental issues. Arnold. ISBN 0340 809493 (Restricted to library)
SEPA (1999). National Waste Strategy for Scotland. December 1999. (Free) (Restricted to library)
SEPA (2003). National waste plan
Williams, P T, (1998). Waste Treatment and Disposal. John Wiley & Sons. Chichester. ISBN. 0-471-98166-4 (Restricted to library). SAC Edinburgh Library
Williams, P T, (2005). Waste Treatment and Disposal. Second Edition. John Wiley & Sons. Chichester. (Restricted to library)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsWaste Reduction,Capital Costs,Collection and Separation of Waste,Incineration
Course organiserDr Jennifer Carfrae
Tel: 0131 535 4417
Course secretaryMs Jennifer Gumbrell
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