Research

According to the three-pillar principle of BOKU (combination of technology, natural sciences and economic, social and legal sciences) we develop innovative concepts, methods and procedures

- for planning and evaluation of waste prevention measures,
- to close natural and anthropogenic material cycles,
- for low-emission waste treatment and
- for the aftercare and monitoring of landfills and old deposits.

The global interdependence of the economy and material flows requires waste flows to be analysed in a comprehensive context and cross-national solutions to be found.

Our current research areas are:

Latest SCI publications

Latest Projects

Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2022-03-01 - 2022-12-31

The potential emission savings or emission credits that can be achieved through the construction of a municipal waste treatment plant in Accra, Ghana, will be quantified. Taking into account the Approved Methodology for Small-scale CDM project activities (AMS): 'AMS-III.F.: Avoidance of methane emissions through composting methodology' and reference documents, a tool will be developed to record the current CO2 emissions (before implementation of the project) and compare them with those after implementation of the pilot project. For this purpose, the climate-relevant emissions from the current treatment and landfilling of the waste as well as those of a potential composting are modeled and calculated using a life cycle approach.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2022-01-01 - 2023-12-31

The projectis based on the great success of the exhibition "Expiry Date - When Food Becomes Garbage" at the Natural History Museum and is intended to reach interested consumers throughout Austria about the avoidance of food waste in the context of a travelling exhibition. The focus of the project partners (Institute for Waste Management, Wiener Tafel and Natural History Museum) is initially on reaching schools in order to fully exploit the potential of the multiplier effect (teachers-pupils-family). Existing materials from all project partners will be updated and made suitable for use in a touring exhibition as a new overall concept. This will then be set up at at least 10 different locations throughout Austria, evaluated and perfected within a year for subsequent use without supervision. The aim is to make the travelling exhibition permanently available to interested parties. More knowledge about the handling of food and the effects of food waste demonstrably leads to a reduction of food waste. The consumers' knowledge gain is measured with the help of surveys before and after visiting the exhibition. The project partners ensure that the materials can continue to be used after the end of the project.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2021-12-01 - 2022-10-31

The European SUP or "Single Use Plastics" Directive (RL 2019/904/EU) aims to prevent and reduce the impact of certain plastic products on the environment, especially the marine environment, and human health. In addition to reducing consumption, restricting the placing on the market, specific product requirements and labeling regulations, this goal is to be achieved via extended producer responsibility. According to Art. 8 of the SUP Directive, in future the producers of the products specified in Annex Part E are to bear the costs of collection in public collection systems, of cleaning campaigns and of awareness-raising measures as part of producer responsibility. In this respect, a nationwide reporting system is to be set up, with an annual reporting obligation for tobacco products according to Art. 13 SUP Directive. For the collection in public containers (e.g. public waste containers for residual waste as well as for cigarette butts on public roads and paths, at public transport stations, parking lots, parks, nature reserves, national parks and recreational areas) and for cleaning campaigns (carried out by or on behalf of public authorities, e.g. by means of mechanical or manual street sweeping and corridor cleaning campaigns), surveys and analyses are to be carried out, which should make it possible to determine the cost shares of relevant and other littering waste. Previous litter analyses in Austria have been conducted (partly due to a lack of existing methods and standards) with different objectives (e.g. focused litter), different system boundaries (e.g. hotspots vs. area-wide surveys, one-time vs. repeated analyses) and different sorting depths including characteristics (e.g. brands of producers). The informative value and the possible contribution of such analyses for a transfer to the nationwide collection and its composition must therefore be systematically scrutinized and ideally assessed on the basis of a transparent and comprehensible evaluation scheme. The core objective of the project is the development of an analysis guideline for waste disposed of in public collection systems (in the sense of Art. 8 SUP Directive) as well as littered waste, which enables efficient, transparent and comparable surveys on the basis of the ratio of analysis effort and achievable accuracy and which clearly and concisely presents the procedure of the entire investigation (incl. definition of the investigation objective, subdivision and stratification of the population, planning and execution of analyses, specifications for sorting and documentation).

Supervised Theses and Dissertations