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Waste Management and Environmental Research

Prof. Dr. Stefan Gäth

Scope of the Institute


The Institute of Landscape Ecology and Resources Management (ILR) was founded in the early 1950´s and looks back at a long tradition of research and teaching.

The Division of Waste Mangement and Environmental Research was founded in 1996. It focuses on the investigation of matter dynamics and optimization of matter cycles. The incorporation of a Division of Waste Management in the Department of Agriculture and Environmental Protection offers the opportunity to investigate vegetable and animal foodstuffs during their entire lify cycle, i.e. during production, consumption, and disposal or recycling.

The aim to complete matter cycles is a central aspect of the German waste management law (Krw-/AbfG, 1996), which prescribes the preference of recycling in contrast to disposal of wastes, which are unavoidable. The recycling of organic wastes from domestic, agricultural and industrial sources (e.g. via application to soil) generally leads to a reasonable recirculation of nutrients to the food chain. However, as the organic wastes also contain various harmful substances, recycling also bears the risk of pollutant accumulation in the resource cycle.

In research and education, the Division focuses on the above-mentioned question of pollutant accumulation in matter cycles. The main task is to define the pollution load capacity of the investigated systems in order to achieve information on sustainable resource management. Further, the Division is involved in current topics on waste management practices.

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