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 Projects

Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2024-04-01 - 2025-07-31

The consumption of fruit and vegetables causes environmental impacts that vary depending on which crops are consumed in which season. In order to reduce the environmental impact and in particular greenhouse gas emissions caused by consumption, it is essential to understand the cultivation methods and value chains. The life cycle assessment (LCA) method, standardized according to ISO 14040/44, and the product environmental footprint (PEF) are suitable methods for this. There are currently hardly any LCAs for the production of fruit and vegetables in Austria. This project aims to fill this gap. Based on primary data from Austrian farms, detailed LCAs will be prepared for at least 5 fruit and vegetable crops. The aim of this work is to find out what influence the origin of selected fruit and vegetables has on the environmental impact associated with the product. In detail, the carbon and water footprint will be considered. The following research questions are to be answered as part of the project: - What is the environmental impact of selected fruit and vegetable crops - Are there differences due to different transportation routes and types of cultivation - What savings could result from a change in consumer behavior from foreign to domestic products
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2024-04-01 - 2025-03-31

Box-type windows are an essential part of our architectural heritage and have stood the test of time due to their lasting good sound and heat insulating properties over centuries. In current practice, historical box-type windows are usually compared with brand-new insulating glass systems in a snapshot and not evaluated in their life cycle. Ecological aspects, sustainability and reparability are rarely taken into account in these calculations. The aim of this project is to analyse the repair of existing box-type windows with multi-pane insulating glass windows. For this purpose, life cycle assessment is applied in accordance with ISO 14040, which is a standardised method for carrying out environmental assessments of products. The method takes into account all phases of the product life cycle, including raw material extraction, manufacture, use and disposal.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2024-02-01 - 2025-12-31

The recovery of recyclable waste from mixed municipal waste is a high priority based on EU requirements (e.g. municipal waste recycling quota, recycling quotas for packaging), federal and state regulations. According to residual waste analyses for 2018/19, mixed municipal waste in the state of Salzburg comprises approx. 54% of recyclable waste materials, i.e. discards, which account for approx. 48,000 tonnes of mixed municipal waste per year. This mass flow (in addition to other recyclable waste materials in bulky municipal waste) must be reduced with targeted measures in order to conserve resources and reduce municipal expenditure. The project comprises the following service areas: 1. the online data collection of municipal waste balances via a survey portal, including quality assurance by means of automated plausibility checks and follow-up surveys, 2. the investigation of key factors influencing settlement structure (e.g. settlement density, number of overnight stays, household size) and their effects on municipal waste generation, residual waste composition and derived indicators (e.g. waste collection rates) in order to be able to quantitatively compare groups of municipalities with similar settlement structures (including across Austria) with regard to separate collection, 3. the investigation of the efficiency of relevant waste management measures (e.g. with regard to collection systems, connection rates, emptying intervals, container volumes) and their volume effects within groups of municipalities with the same settlement structure in order to be able to recognise and evaluate optimal bundles of measures in a regional comparison and also over time, 4. answering the research questions, and 5. summarising and recommending waste management measures for individual waste streams and regions as well as the potential for additional separate collection to be exploited.

Supervised Theses and Dissertations