Module and Programme Catalogue

Search site

Find information on

2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

CIVE5984M Circular Economy and Resource Recovery from Waste

15 creditsClass Size: 50

Module manager: Dr. Costas Velis

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24


CIVE5040MSolid Waste Management

This module is mutually exclusive with

CIVE5985MCircular Economy and Resource Recovery from Waste

This module is not approved as an Elective


This module provides a comprehensive introduction to the emerging theory and core practical aspects of engineering application of recovering of resources and value from waste, within the context of a circular economy.

Key objectives of the module are to:

- Develop a comprehensive understanding of what are the technological and engineering means to recover resources and value from waste, including materials, energy and nutrients: this includes technologies, and their application along the required science such as statistical quality control;
- Develp an appreciation of what the concept of circular economy means in theory and how it can be translated into practice within a Global North and Global South socioeconomic and governance and innovation environments; and in different entities such as business and cities;
- Provide an in-depth overview of the challenges around assessment of resource recovery and circular economy and the related decision making; and get hands-on experience on using assessment skills and tools in a case study.

Learning outcomes
Upon successful completion of the module, the students should have developed, and be able to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding, specifically on:

- Thorough understanding of science and engineering principles and practices in relation to current and emerging challenges that come under circular economy (e.g. setting up re-use schemes or operating ion a global supply chains of secondary materials such as after-use plastics), including techniques at the forefront of systems analysis.
- Able to apply engineering techniques and design system-level interventions (extended material flow analysis, CVORR, Carbon accounting), taking into account the commercial, industrial and regulatory constraints and the social context of the challenge at hand (e.g. using InteRa) applicable to circular economy of solid waste.
- Apply problem solving and communication skills in specific cases, including information retrieval and data assessment and analysis, and presentation of results, working in teams.

Skills outcomes
In general students should be able to demonstrate core analytical skills along with improving transferable skills, such as communication skills, creative problem solving, critical thinking, team working, and apply this to hands-on real life cases. Specifically they would be in position to apply specific tools for the resource recovery from waste within a circular economy, such as the novel and customised CVORR ("Complex Value Optimisation for Resource Recovery from waste") analytical and decision-support methodology developed by the University of Leeds, combining elements of material flow analysis, environmental and social life cycle assessment, cost-benefit analysis and heterodox economics. They will also learn how to apply InteRa, a specialised analytical framework and tool to assess design of interventions for the inclusion of waste pickers (informal recyclers) into formal waste management systems in the Global South.


Typical content includes:

- Key concepts for resource recovery from waste (RRfW)
- What is circular economy (CE)
- Learn how to apply CVORR
- Learn how to apply InteRA
- Disruptive innovation - 4th industrial revolution: materials and automation
- Circular economy in the Global South (developing countries)
- Waste prevention, reuse and remanufacturing
- Recycling and global supply chains
- (Bio)energy from waste
- Transition from solid waste management (SWM) to CE
- Cities and circular economy
- Strategies, policies and implementation plans for circular economy
- Indicators and systems assessment for CE (cities, business)
- Case Study: CE and RRfW for waste plastics

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Class tests, exams and assessment12.002.00
Group learning14.004.00
Private study hours102.00
Total Contact hours48.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

The students will be learning from revisiting the lecture notes and wider learning resources available on the VLE and the reading list and by hands-on working on the specific case study.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

In-course MCQ's. The students have extensive opportunities to work in teams on case studies and present within the module, where feedback is provided on the spot on their engineering and communication skills.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
PresentationGroup project (Assessed as, 10-20 minutes presentation with 5 min Q&A). Individual marks obtained by peer marking for the half team mark.30.00
Group ProjectGroup project (Structured report demonstrating application the CVORR approach principles and elements of methodology for a specific case study). Individual marks obtained by peer marking for half of team mark.70.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Although group efforts (project and presentation), the marks allocated for the 70% will be individual, and overall 15% will be gained via peer (student to student) marking. Group allocations will be totally randomised. Resit 100% Project Report.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 26/04/2024


Browse Other Catalogues

Errors, omissions, failed links etc should be notified to the Catalogue Team.PROD

© Copyright Leeds 2019