Resource Futures Consultant, Ed Cook, has been awarded the prestigious Roger Perry award for his thesis titled ‘Optimising the non-biological outputs of mechanical-biological treatment facilities’. This award goes to the best research paper by CIWM members at Masters or Doctorate level. Ed’s thesis project is a result of his Masters degree in Waste and Resource Management at Cranfield University.
Historically, research into MBT technology has focussed on the quality of biological and fuel products; however there is very little published research into the non-biological materials such as metals and glass. Ed’s article sought to quantify the amount of non-target materials occurring in these fractions, and then to provide some advice on how to improve their marketability.
The paper also provided an assessment of the UK MBT infrastructure including a list of plants, their capacity and type. Ed identified that although UK’s MBT treatment capacity is circa 2.3 million tonnes, many plants are currently under-utilised and therefore the actual processed tonnage is closer to 1.7 million tonnes (correct at the time of research). With data at the heart of resource management and future strategy, this piece of research is important in accessing the on-going value of secondary materials.
In light of receiving the award, Ed said, “I’m really delighted that the issue of non-biological outputs from MBTs is now being given more attention thanks to this award. Due to falling prices and competition from other treatment technologies, MBT operators are under increasing pressure to find other opportunities for maximizing value of output materials. Optimising the quality of non-biological outputs is one such opportunity. It’s great to be recognised by the industry’s Institute.”
Sam Reeve, Operations Director at Resource Futures, commented, “Congratulations to Ed for his great research paper for MBT operators and the wider waste industry alike. Data on all secondary materials and how their value can be retained is critical to delivering a resourceful economy. Ed’s paper helps to provide clarity about the use on non-biological MBT outputs and provides insight for future resource management policy.”
Ed was announced as the winner at a CIWM event held on 5th November in London. His paper has now been published in Elsevier Waste Management Journal. Free copies are available for download from here. The full story can be found in CIWM Journal.