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With a growing population, increased waste production provides us with a variety of challenges. Come along and join us for a night of talks which look at waste from a different perspective, where we consider the use of waste as a potential resource. From landfills to recovering from near nuclear disaster, our speakers will provide insight into a dirty world with green opportunity.
Is Anthropogenic Waste Rubbish Food for Gulls?
Dr. Ruedi Nager (Senior Lecturer (Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine) Associate - Life Sciences (School of Life Sciences))
Gulls can feed on our rubbish and their populations are thought to have benefited from such food sources. On the other hand rubbish might be poor-quality food. So can gulls do well at all on rubbish? Gulls did poorly after landfill sites closed but maybe the rubbish attracted gulls to areas that were otherwise unsuitable for gulls. If rubbish as a diet indeed would be poor for gulls this then makes us wonder why urban gulls have increased that much. Are they refugees from habitats that no longer can support them? Here I want to explore how rubbish in the diet affects gulls.
The Clean Up of Fukushima
In August 2017 I travelled to Fukushima prefecture in Japan to visit the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant 6.5 years on from the partial reactor meltdown and subsequent hydrogen explosions that culminated in the second worst nuclear disaster in the sectors history. Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) - the plant operators - took us around the site and explained the timeline and details of the decommissioning and clean-up process. In this talk I will explain the challenges and scale of the clean-up operation, and shed light on some of the measures taken to reduce any further contamination.
Waste to Energy: One Town’s Trash is another Town's Electricity
Ms. Melissa Moore (Postgraduate Researcher )
They say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure... in this case its electricity. This talk will explore the process which converts your leftover dinner in the power lighting your kitchen, the science behind how it works, how it's currently being used, and where it can go from here.
The Challenges and Opportunities of Industrial Wastes
Dr. John Macdonald (Lecturer in Earth Sciences (School of Geographical and Earth Sciences))
Industrial processes generate a range of solid waste materials. This talk will showcase some of these different solid waste materials and discuss the environmental challenges presented by dumping of these wastes. Weathering of steel slag, for example, can release toxic metals into the environment. However, while industrial wastes present challenges, they can also create opportunities such as capturing carbon dioxide. With increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, innovative new approaches such as this are needed to limit atmospheric carbon dioxide and mitigate the effects of climate change.