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Sustainable waste management through synergistic utilisation of commercial and domestic organic waste for efficient resource recovery and valorisation in the UK

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Aidong Yang, Dr Natalia YakovlevaORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


The UK is facing tremendous challenges in tackling food waste diversion from landfill. Whilst much effort has been made to prevent food waste, there is still a lack of attention and strategic approach in dealing with resource recovery and valorisation of food waste. This paper presents a systematic framework for sustainable organic waste management and valorisation in the UK through (i) review of current policy framework; (ii) analysis of resource recovery potential from food waste at national, community and organisational levels; (iii) proposition of alternative waste management strategies; and (iv) examination of challenges and opportunities with respect to economic, environment and social dimensions of sustainability of waste management strategies. The paper explores valorisation of source-segregated food waste and mixed waste from the supermarket and households into electricity and transportation fuels, through partially and completely decentralised configurations using anaerobic digestion and gasification technologies. This study demonstrates a potential for reducing the cost of electricity and greenhouse gas emissions of one supermarket store by 12% when adopting partially decentralised food waste anaerobic digestion strategy, and full substitution of fossil fuel based electricity with net surplus renewable electricity generation through complete decentralisation of mixed waste gasification. Therefore, a more integrated, circular and advanced technological approach in waste management should be undertaken as it can lead to a wider range of socio-economic and environmental advantages to the local community, highly essential in the UK.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ng KS, Yang A, Yakovleva N

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Cleaner Production

Year: 2019

Volume: 227

Pages: 248-262

Print publication date: 01/08/2019

Online publication date: 17/04/2019

Acceptance date: 11/04/2019

Date deposited: 24/04/2019

ISSN (print): 0959-6526

Publisher: Elsevier BV


DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2019.04.136


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