Swansea Waste Treatment and Sustainable Construction


On the 12th May 2016, a group of Post Graduate students from the MSc Property and Facilities Management and the MSc Sustainable Construction Programmes (School of Architecture, Built and Natural Environments), paid a visit to Swansea Waste Treatment Facility. 

Swansea Waste Treatment Facility

The aim of the visit was to examine how management of an integrated working environment deals with the challenges of processing Swansea’s waste.

The facility collects and pre-treats most of Swansea’s waste, which amounts to some 118,000 tonnes of MSW (Municipal Solid Waste) per year. Legislation exists throughout the UK to reduce the amount of waste generated and much of this reduction is via recycling. Recycling in Swansea reached 59% last year, well ahead of many other authorities in the UK and this despite a 3% increase in the total number of households per year.  

The students were tasked with discovering how risk is managed, how business continuity is maintained and how space layout is organised to suit the needs of the waste treatment processes. With so many different operations, each dealing with separate waste streams the role of management is indeed challenging!

Mike Cullis, who organised the visit said,

“Demographic and urban change means that waste management strategies must adapt to meet the demands of an increased growth in urban living. There needs to be greater engagement with the public so that future waste management strategies become more effective and efficient in dealing with any growth in waste generation. In a sense, we must do the right thing, but lets do the right thing right!”

Over the years the School has excelled in producing graduates with professional skills relevant to waste resource management, environmental management and property and facilities management. Laura Davies, one such student, who gained employment as a Waste Resource Manager said;

“I found that the MSc …  at UWTSD (then Swansea Metropolitan University) gave me the opportunity to expand and develop my knowledge and skills across a broad spectrum of the environmental agenda. I particularly enjoyed the module on Waste Resource Management, and as an already avid recycler I was keen to undertake my thesis in the area of resource efficiency and small enterprises, where I had first-hand experience of persevering to try and 'green' my company's practices.”