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STEEL - Circularity at its best?

After mineral building materials, steel is one of the most used commodities. It is used widely in all sectors and experienced extensive growth in the past decades nearly doubling steel production globally. Steel is indispensable in our society. The need for mining and heavy industry plants necessary for steel production with high environmental impact is the obvious downside of the steel cycle. However, steel is known for its recyclability. This poses some question for the future steel production: For example: Do we still need to mine iron ore or can we solely depend on steel scrap? How can we lower the environmental impacts of steelmaking? And to which extent can we reduce our steel use or do we need more steel in future?

The Fashion of Waste

Textile production has increased steadily over the last decades. The produced volume of fibers has increased from 22 million t in 1970 to 101 million in 2020. The growth is even more remarkable when considering synthetic polymer fibers, which have grown from 5 to 70 million t in the same period. Recycling processes are completely underdeveloped and business models such as “fast fashion” fuel fiber consumption. There are urgent needs regarding the handling of end-of-life textiles.

Watch this TRASHTALK #2 to find out, what experts and representatives of the industry can add to this important topic.

Peel the packaging off: Circular Economy of Plastics

The consumption of plastics has increased tremendously during the last decades. Globally, almost 400 million metric tons of plastics are produced annually. As the pace of production has increased, so have the plastic waste generation and the associated challenges. Despite the manifold advantages of plastics during their use phase, their optimal management at the end of their live cycle is still heavily debated. In the frame of the first VIRWa Trashtalk, renowned experts from academia and industry will offer their takes on appropriate plastic waste management.

Waste or

Learn how to encrease your efficency!


You can only improve what you’ve taken the time to understand.

When you deepen your understanding of your system’s energy flows, greenhouse gas emissions and further lifecycle assessment impact categories, you uncover opportunities to avoid losses and efficiently meet emission targets. All this at a company, city, and regional level. Ready to improve your system? We know just the place to get started.


Use what you have, get what you need.

Use available data or collect new data. We will support you to do both efficiently. Getting the most out of your data is our passion and we use it vigorously to identify all of your optimization potential, whatever your circumstances. Where necessary, we’ll even guide you through bridging knowledge gaps.


Use our Tools and improve your System.

Together we will implement measures and tools to improve your performance in regard to environmental and economical performance.


Profit from our know-how:

  • Increase your efficiency
  • Reduce your environmental impact
  • Reduce your costs
  • Assess your improvement


Make use of this opportunity and profit also from our know how. Every system offers potential for optimization.

Course listing

Who We Are

The team of VIRWa has more than 40 years of experience in solid waste and resource management. Recent works have given special primarily focus on system-based analyses of wastes and resources, taking environmental impacts, such as climate change, resource depletion or soil and water contamination into account. Ultimately, every project is dedicated to finding the most cost-efficient way to reach the goals of solid waste management (protect humans and the environment), thereby pursuing multiple SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) simultaneously.

Our Expertise

Analysis of waste processes and systems, waste management planning, assessment of greenhouse gas emissions (at different levels), analyzing and optimizing the operation of waste-to-energy plants, analysis of refuse-derived fuels (RDFs), design and evaluation of landfill aeration projects, evaluation of landfill aftercare, industrial waste management (industrial symbiosis), analysis of material cycles (such as steel or plastics), tracing of pollutants through systems (e.g., heavy metals, POPs).

More than 500 reports and scientific publications by Johann Fellner and Therese Schwarzböck

Wast incineracion plant Spittelau
Wast incineracion plant Spittelau


SUS Environment
Technische Universität Wien, TU Wien
Technische Universität Wien, TU Wien