Cranfield looks at recycling attitudes

August 16, 2000

Researchers at Cranfield University's School of Water Sciences have recently completed a major survey of public attitudes to water recycling. The study, part of an EPSRC funded project on water recycling, was carried out between March and April this year and involved over 300 respondents throughout England and Wales.

Although the UK may not appear to have a water supply problem, there is a continuing need to balance the demand for the supply of fresh water. The clustering of droughts over the past 20 years and changes in the spatial patterns of water demand raise important questions concerning the resilience of existing water supply arrangements. Consequently, the potential for water recycling and reuse in the UK is considerable.

Although many technologies for water recycling are available, widespread implementation of working schemes has been hampered by debates over whether the public would accept water recycling, particularly 'in-house' systems.

The most significant finding from the study is that the large majority of the public are supportive of water recycling as a concept. For example, 89% of respondents agreed with the statement 'I have no objections to water recycling as long as safety is guaranteed.' 88% of respondents were prepared to use recycled water from their own bath and shower to flush their toilet.

Using recycled water from second party or public sources was less acceptable, although half the population were prepared to use recycled water for toilet flushing, irrespective of the water source.

Water Sciences' Dr Paul Jeffrey, part of the survey team, is very pleased with the way the project has gone. "This was a comprehensive and independent study of England and Wales. The results are significant as they disprove the widespread theory that the public is against all water recycling."

"The findings from the survey allow us to identify which types of water recycling are publicly acceptable and which are not, thereby helping us to identify niche markets and guide the design of appropriate technologies."
-end-


Cranfield University

Related Water Recycling Articles from Brightsurf:

Paper recycling must be powered by renewables to save climate
The study, published in Nature Sustainability, found that greenhouse gas emissions would increase by 2050 if we recycled more paper, as current methods rely on fossil fuels and electricity from the grid.

Lighting the path to recycling carbon dioxide
Combining solar-harvesting materials with carbon-dioxide-consuming microbes could be an efficient way to generate clean fuels.

Plastics, waste and recycling: It's not just a packaging problem
Discussions of the growing plastic waste problem often focus on reducing the volume of single-use plastic packaging items such as bags, bottles, tubs and films.

Recycling plastics together, simple and fast
Scientists successfully blended different types of plastics to be recycled together, providing a solution to the environmental problem of plastic waste and adding economic value to plastic materials.

Chemical recycling makes useful product from waste bioplastic
A faster, more efficient way of recycling plant-based 'bioplastics' has been developed by a team of scientists at the universities of Birmingham and Bath.

New recycling method could make polyurethane sustainable
Polyurethanes (PUs) are used in many products, such as mattresses, insulation, footwear and construction materials.

Almond orchard recycling a climate-smart strategy
Recycling orchard trees onsite can sequester carbon, save water and increase crop yields, making it a climate-smart practice for California's irrigated almond orchards, finds a study from the University of California, Davis.

'Deceptively simple' process could boost plastics recycling
Plastics are a victim of their own success, so inexpensive, easy to use and versatile that the world is awash in plastic waste.

New membranes for cellular recycling
Cells produce the shell of the autophagosomes on the spot.

Rethinking the science of plastic recycling
A multi-institutional collaboration reports a catalytic method for selectively converting discarded plastics into higher quality products.

Read More: Water Recycling News and Water Recycling Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.