Rubbish In, Resources Out

A strategic design report for Design for London and the Greater London Authority investigating urban waste treatment facilities

This is a competition-winning piece of research for the GLA and Design for London to write a report exploring the concept of dealing with London's domestic waste within the city.

‘Rubbish In, Resources Out’, was launched in September 2008 and developed with Ove Arup and Partners. This strategic report addresses the ambition of the London Plan to make London self-sufficient in terms of domestic waste treatment, addressing its urban impact and bringing a new typology of buildings into the city.

The report profiles new and emerging waste treatment technologies including anaerobic digestion and plasma gasification. These processes generate heat and power, which can be used to benefit the local community, as well as by-products which can be used in the construction and agricultural industry.

We proposed a family of buildings which address different scales of operation and different development situations. These range from central urban sites to riverside sites using the river for transport, and suburban sites co-located within manufacturing businesses.

Our proposal brings waste treatment to visibility through high quality design, and proposes a model for holistic and energy-efficient waste treatment, applied to a range of community densities and locations.

The report is published on the GLA website, and was commended in the RIBA President’s Prize for Practice-Based Research, 2009.

Download the report here: Rubbish In Resources Out


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  • Awards

  • Winner, RIBA Research Award, 2009
  • Publications

  • Biba Dow and Alun Jones, ‘Rubbish in : Resources out’, in: Design For London Framework(London, UK, Sept. 1, 2008)

  • ‘Intelligence / Practice’, in: RIBA Journal(London, UK, Feb. 1, 2010)

  • Jay Merrick, ‘Station To Station’, in: The Independent(London, UK, Aug. 5, 2010)

  • ‘London Waste Line’, in: Building Design(London, UK, Oct. 17, 2008)

  • ‘Rubbish in, Resources out’, in: Divisare(Rome, Italy, March 27, 2013)