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MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions

Studying at Cambridge

Abdul Mudassir

Sustainability Assessment of Resource Recovery Parks for Post Mining Regeneration of Cornwall, UK

Abdul Mudassir

Sustainability Assessment of Resource Recovery Parks for Post Mining Regeneration of Cornwall, UK

The notion of a “flawed first industrial revolution” is not only true because of the poor environmental and social performance of industries, but also because of the deplorable effects of de-industrialization. Derelict land defaces the overall landscape and promotes anti-social behaviour. Along with social exclusion and a sense of deprivation in the local communities, their links with other sectors of the economy are also weak. Past regeneration efforts have focused either on socioeconomic or biophysical aspects. A different and comprehensive approach would be to try to establish strong linkages between various sectors within the economy to connect different forms of capitals.

In order to meet new legislative targets and to benefit from the emerging environmental sector in the UK, local governments in partnership with private and not-for-profit companies are planning to develop resource recovery parks (RRPs). Commonly defined as “the co-location of reuse, recycling, compost processing, manufacturing, and retail businesses in a central facility where the public can bring all their wastes and recoverable materials”, RRPs are the evolved form of eco-industrial parks. The research investigates this new phenomenon to explore in detail how post mining regeneration objectives can be effectively delivered. With an emphasis on planning and development, a conceptual framework for sustainability has been developed. A case study of Dagenham Dock Sustainable Industrial Park has been conducted to observe how various elements of the framework interact and influence each other. It has been found that instead of using current practices which emphasise either by-product synergy among organizations or joint management of a park, an approach that takes into account sustainable competitive advantage of an area and addresses all aspects of industrial symbiosis simultaneously could be considered more successful. This process is enhanced by engaging partners with specialized expertise. The proposal for a new RRP as an option for the regeneration of Cornwall has also been examined and recommendations have been made for future decision making.

Key words: Industrial symbiosis, Eco-Industrial Parks, Resource Recovery Parks, Post Mining Regeneration, Environmental sector in the UK.