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Recovery and reuse of resources in wastewater

This project seeks to leverage the capacity of decision makers in policy and practice by supporting them to navigate the complex and sprawling knowledge on recovery and reuse of resources from wastewater. Risks and benefits associated with techniques and products from resource recovery will be described.

Inadequate management of wastewater streams severely compromises human and environmental health in many places around the world. At the same time, wastewater streams contain valuable resources – notably water, energy, carbon, and nutrients – which often are scarcely utilised. There seems to be a broad agreement that resource recovery ought to play a central role in future management of wastewater streams, but there are many bits of the puzzle yet to be laid before resource recovery from wastewater is done as a natural part of the mission and without controversy.

Resource recovery encompasses multiple resources, and each of these could be used for a variety of purposes. There is strong disagreement among different actors regarding the types and levels of risks and impacts that should be deemed acceptable, as well as how to weigh benefits against impacts and risks. Put simply, in a world where different actors carry different beliefs, goals, and values, it is almost inevitable that there are multiple legitimate but diverging views of how resource recovery from wastewater should be (or not be) implemented in policy and practice. 

The recent steep increase in research and development of new solutions to recover and reuse resources from different kind of wastewater makes it difficult for actors to navigate and keep track of new developments. Uptake and implementation of new knowledge and solutions remain a key challenge in finding ways to increase utilization of benefits from wastewater.

This project proposes to synthesise best available tacid knowledge and evidence from practice on technologies and systems to recover resources in wastewater, including separate fractions such as human excreta, or greywater (collectively referred to as wastewater streams). The aim is to support key Swedish governmental agencies and authorities in making informed decisions regarding the future management of resources in wastewater streams.


Project name

Recovery & reuse of wastewater resources



RISE role in project


Project start


2 years

Total budget

3 000 000 SEK


The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency


Project members

External press

Supports the UN sustainability goals

2. Zero hunger
6. Clean water and sanitation
7. Affordable and clean energy
9. Industry, innovation and infrastructure
12. Responsible consumption and production
14. Life below water

Contact person

Elin Kusoffsky


+46 10 516 69 90

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