Following China’s effective ban on importing many waste materials for recycling, many developed nations, including Australia, are being forced to rethink their waste strategies to encourage more effective waste separation and recycling regimes, a dramatic change that has challenged the ability of the resource sector to upskill rapidly and in ways that few are prepared for. Veena Sahajwalla has pioneered and championed localized waste processing and recycling in high-tech microfactories as an essential first step to the circular economy. Capable of processing even toxic materials within a small space using specialised machines, these have the potential to renew the value of materials that are presently lost within our more traditional and centralized waste processing systems. In this conversation Veena outlines her vision for the microfactory and its potential role in furthering a genuinely circular economy.

  • Robert Crocker

    Deputy Director, China Australia Centre for Sustainable Urban Development

    Robert’s research is focused on consumption, waste, and design for the circular economy. He has co...
  • Veena Sahajwalla

    Founding Director, Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology, University of New South Wales

    Australian Research Council (ARC) Laureate Professor Veena Sahajwalla is an internationally recognis...
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