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 : 2021-12-01 - 2022-07-31

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).
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2021-11-22 - 2022-06-21

Previous waste analyses at the state level were limited not only by a lack of standards and different questions, but above all by the low sample mass and thus the low significance of the results. The effectiveness of waste management collection systems and other measures was therefore often not possible. A nationwide analysis makes it possible, on the basis of a much higher sample mass or number, as well as the nationwide greater heterogeneity of the system design, to make much more precise statements as to whether, for example, certain collection systems are more efficient than others. The main objective of the project is the identification and quantification of factors influencing mass fractions (mass-%) or the specific mass (kg/Ew/a) of relevant waste fractions in residual waste. In each case, groups of individual samples are formed which are grouped according to one factor or a combination of several factors based on the factors mentioned below. When examining the factors, a distinction must be made in particular between factors that can be influenced with reference to measures (e.g. collection systems, container sizes, collection intervals) and factors that cannot be influenced (e.g. characteristics of properties and regions). The quantification of the "separation collection potential" based on this also pursues the goal of defining influencing factors on separation collection rates as well as separation collection potentials for waste materials (waste paper and cardboard, waste glass, biogenic waste and light and metal packaging) for the above-mentioned factors or factor combinations in order to identify optimization potentials in the sense of comprehensive, regional benchmarking. The results should also be usable for the orientation of future packages of measures (e.g. with regard to the recycling rate for municipal waste to be achieved in the amount of 55% and 65% by 2025 and 2035, respectively). Accompanying objectives to be pursued in the methodological-content network include the evaluation and implementation of possibilities for sample mass reduction through adapted, cross-national stratification as well as the evaluation and optimization of evaluation methods.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2021-11-01 - 2022-10-31

With the EU Waste Framework Directive and the introduction of the new waste hierarchy, activities in the area of re-use have moved more and more into the awareness of the acting persons. In the furniture sector, specific problems arise not least due to the size and bulkiness of the products and the associated difficulties with regard to logistics and storage. However, there has been no systematic recording of the type and number of channels through which furniture is re-used, nor has there been any information on the quantities currently re-used. The aim of the study is therefore to conduct an Austria-wide survey on the existing offer for the re-use of furniture. The following details will be considered: a.Which offer of re-use channels (delivery and purchase/use) exists in the individual federal provinces? b.How much furniture is currently being reused in the individual federal states? Can a benchmark be defined? c.What possibilities for optimisation can be identified in a comparison of the federal states or in an international comparison? d.What potential is there to involve companies and municipalities in a ReUse furniture network? e.What is the most efficient way to collect data in the future in accordance with Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2021/19?

Supervised Theses and Dissertations