Working with Waste


More Treasure Than Trash

Trash is often treasure—a feedstock that can't be overlooked as an expanding world population tries to use resources more efficiently and reduce the strain that our consumption places on natural systems.


Garbology 101: Getting a Grip on Waste

Most people choose to ignore it, but managing waste is a pressing and contentious issue that is prompting a closer look at what we throw away—and where it ends up.

Modern-Day Waste Pickers

People have been sifting through trash for as long as society has been producing waste. But to most people, it's all just trash.

Finding a New Way to Go

The flush toilet was a transformative invention, but experts say its time may be past and are pioneering ways to recover energy and nutrients from human waste.


Water Reclamation Going Green

Wastewater treatment plants are revamping themselves as resource recovery operations, saving—and even producing—energy and polluting less in the process.


A Better Way to Denitrify Wastewater

Anammox bacteria, which convert ammonia into nitrogen gas in the absence of oxygen, could dramatically improve methods of removing ammonia from wastewater streams.

Save Pave the World

Carbon dioxide may be the ultimate industrial waste product. Could tropical corals provide a trick for locking it away in our highways?

Getting Minds Out of the Sewer

The aversion to excrement, which is deeply rooted in the human psyche, gets in the way of sensible solutions to recycling wastewater.

World of Waste

waste infographic
Insights into where the world's waste is coming from, where it is going, and how waste streams are changing.

Reviews, Perspectives, & Editorials


Conversion of Wastes into Bioelectricity and Chemicals by Using Microbial Electrochemical Technologies

Electrogenic microorganisms can add value to wastewater by converting organic matter into electricity.

Valorization of Biomass: Deriving More Value from Waste

Agricultural and food waste can potentially displace petroleum feedstocks to make organic compounds on an industrial scale.

Taking the "Waste" Out of "Wastewater" for Human Water Security and Ecosystem Sustainability

Wastewater at various stages of treatment can supplement freshwater and thereby increase global water productivity..


Challenges in Metal Recyling

Improving waste collection, processing technologies, and product design would make metal recycling more efficient.

Recycling of the #5 Polymer

The outlook is improving for recycling the common plastic polypropylene.

The Challenges of Reusing Mining and Mineral-Processing Wastes

Waste materials from mining activities comprise one of the largest global waste streams by mass.

An End to Waste?

An end to waste requires we reassess our patterns of production and consumption.

Related Resources

Articles in Science

External Resources