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Open AccessArticle

The Status of Industrial Ecology in Australia: Barriers and Enablers

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Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, Sustainable Minerals Institute, University of Queensland, St Lucia, Queensland 4072, Australia
2
Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, Sustainable Minerals Institute, University of Queensland, St Lucia, Queensland 4072, Australia
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Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney NSW 2007, Australia
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Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Future Manufacturing Flagship, Geelong, Victoria 3216, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Resources 2014, 3(2), 340-361; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources3020340
Received: 9 December 2013 / Revised: 12 February 2014 / Accepted: 12 March 2014 / Published: 25 March 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wealth from Waste: Urban Metal Resources and Industrial Ecology)
Drawing on current international industrial ecology thinking and experiences with Australian initiatives, this article critically overviews the current status of industrial ecology in Australia and examines the barriers and potential strategies to realise greater uptake and application of the concept. The analysis is conducted across three categories: heavy industrial areas (including Kwinana and Gladstone), mixed industrial parks (Wagga Wagga and Port Melbourne), and waste exchange networks, and identifies the past and future significance of seven different types of barriers—regulation, information, community, economic, technical, cooperation and trust, commitment to sustainable development—for each of the three categories. The outcomes from this analysis highlight that regulation, information, and economic barriers for heavy industrial area and mixed industrial parks, and economic and technical barriers for waste exchange networks are the current and future focus for industrial ecology applications in Australia. These findings appear to be consistent with recently published frameworks and learnings. The authors propose key questions that could enhance greater adoption of industrial ecology applications in Australia and acknowledge that international research and experiences, while partly providing answers to these questions, need to be adapted and refined for the Australian context. View Full-Text
Keywords: industrial ecology; industrial symbiosis; recycling; waste exchange; industrial parks; by-products; barriers industrial ecology; industrial symbiosis; recycling; waste exchange; industrial parks; by-products; barriers
MDPI and ACS Style

Corder, G.D.; Golev, A.; Fyfe, J.; King, S. The Status of Industrial Ecology in Australia: Barriers and Enablers. Resources 2014, 3, 340-361.

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