The Tipping Point

One Australian scientist is manufacturing wide-ranging products from waste glass and old clothes

The Tipping Point Known as the 'Queen of Waste', Veena Sahajwalla is transforming the way we dispose of waste. Using micro-factories to make 'green' ceramics out of industrial waste, she plans to turn landfills into precious resources.
Veena Sahajwalla has a long-established reputation in the science world; her innovation of ‘green ceramics’ is now making waves in the manufacturing world. At the heart of her work is an obsession with recycling waste. She gets excited at landfill dumps, at all the good stuff she finds: 'I see waste as an opportunity. To me, waste is really one of those untapped resources, just waiting to be harnessed'. Her innovations have helped kick start 'circular' green projects, where waste produced by companies can be recycled back into productive materials by micro factories. 'The ideal location for these kinds of micro factories is where the waste is being collected - local councils, regional centres - so that you can really have communities able to access them and turn their own waste into a resource, into a small-scale industry', says scientist Kylie Walker.Anirban Ghose, a micro factory engineer, hopes Veena's example will inspire others: 'It’s a paradigm shift. We have had the Industrial Revolution, we’ve now got this technical revolution. I think she’s talking about a materials revolution.'

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