AN international project is aiming to develop new ways to eliminate waste and reduce the environmental impact of industry.
ZeroWIN (Towards Zero Waste in Industrial Networks) is a five-year, EC-funded scheme with academic and industrial partners across Europe and Asia. It advocates regional collaboration of companies from traditionally separated sectors, which exchange by-products such as energy, water and materials in a way that waste from one industry becomes raw material for another.
The project will determine how existing approaches and techniques can be improved and combined in an industrial network and how technology can contribute to achieving the zero target.
Ian Williams, professor of applied environmental science at Southampton University, one of the project partners, said: “The term ‘zero waste’ is perhaps a bit misleading in that it does not mean that wastes will not arise in society. Zero emissions represent a shift from the traditional industrial model, where waste is considered the norm, to integrated systems, where everything has its use.
“The zero waste approach envisions a ‘second industrial revolution’, with all inputs used in final products or converted into value-added materials or resources for use by other industries or processes.”