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06 February 2009
A successful partnership which saw University expertise improving the productivity and sustainability of a Welsh waste management firm has been recognised at the annual Knowledge Transfer Partnership Welsh Regional Awards.
Cardiff University and LAS Recycling Ltd were presented with the Wales KTP Award by Dr David Grant, Vice-Chancellor of the University, at a ceremony held in Cardiff. Dr Grant presented the award on behalf of the Welsh Assembly Government in his capacity as a member of the Technology Strategy Board.
LAS Recycling Ltd entered into partnership with the University as part of a long-term strategy to enhance and extend its sustainable development in the context of changing waste legislation.
A team from the School of Engineering led by Professors Keith Williams and Tony Griffiths, helped to substantially enhance the company’s waste management capabilities through the design and commissioning of a new materials recovery facility.
This new facility, now in full operation at LAS Recycling’s Lampeter site, allows recyclable materials to be separated out during waste processing. Capable of processing a wide range of food materials, it has increased throughput and recovery rate: some 46,000 tonnes per year of municipal soiled waste can now be processed, diverting up to 50% from landfill.
Chris Saunders, Managing Director at LAS Recycling, said: "We initiated this Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Cardiff University because we needed to update our facilities to meet with changing industry needs and waste legislation. The new facility designed with the help of the School of Engineering has placed us in a much stronger position to react to changes within our industry".
Professor Keith Williams, School of Engineering, said: "This partnership has been so beneficial to all involved and it is an honour to have this success recognised today. Professor Griffiths and I, along with the rest of our team here, have gained a valuable insight into the waste management problems faced by local authorities today. We have also had the opportunity to gather much useful data which can be fed back into our teaching".
Another person who benefited from the Knowledge Transfer Partnership was the partnership’s Associate, Dr. Nia Owen. Dr Owen’s extensive knowledge of environmental engineering has had a very positive impact on LAS Recycling Ltd and she has been directly involved in all stages of the project. As well as gaining valuable professional experience, she has developed many useful contacts and built up her general management skills.
Paul Thomas, the University’s Knowledge Transfer Partnership Office Manager, said: "I first met the Managing Director of LAS Recycling, Chris Saunders, at a business event in Mid-Wales in 2002. Since then, the collaboration between Cardiff University and LAS Recycling has flourished. This award today highlights the significant achievements that are possible for both the University and its industrial partners via Knowledge Transfer Partnerships.
"Building on this excellent work, both Cardiff and LAS Recycling relish the follow-up Partnership, which was approved earlier this month and is widely anticipated to lead to even greater rewards".
To find out more about Knowledge Transfer Partnerships at the University, please contact Paul Thomas on 029 20875882 or email ThomasP7@cardiff.ac.uk .
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