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Personal profile

Research interests

Dr Ryan Woodard's career to date has been heavily influenced by developments and trends in the wider waste management industry. A significant part of his early research was working in partnership with local authorities when many were introducing their first ever kerbside recycling programmes in the late 1990s/early 2000s. This included trialling different collection systems and behaviour change programmes and evaluating their impact on recycling levels. He continues to look at how local authorities can implement waste reduction, reuse and recycling through adopting innovative methods.

Ryan is also interested in the management of Commercial and Industrial waste. Waste policy tends to focus on household waste however more waste is actually generated from SMEs. He is therefore interested in understanding how SMEs manage their waste, comply with environmental regulations and working to develop smarter systems for the management of this waste. Ryan is also interested in developing low cost solutions to facilitate local management of waste in Local Economically Developed Countries.

Scholarly biography

Ryan is a Senior Research Fellow within the School of Environment and Technology. He is a waste management specialist and has been undertaking research, consultancy and training in the sector since the mid-1990s. His focus is on household and commercial waste and he has completed over 30 projects in collaboration with private, public and third sector partners. The majority of these projects are applied: understanding what is happening and developing solutions.

Ryan’s work increasingly has an international focus and he has been working on projects in South Africa since 2010. He is currently working on setting up a community based recycling workshop in South Africa in partnership with the Dreamcatcher Foundation South Africa which aims to address some the of the environmental and social challenges posed by waste in the community. This includes working with staff and students in the School of Art and Design at the University of Brighton developing products that could be made from the local waste stream. In 2019 the project was awarded funding through the British Council Developing Inclusive and Creative Enterprises and the team from the University are providing training and support to help create new enterprises in the community based around the collection and processing of recycling, and designing, making and selling of arts and crafts from the available resources. Collaborating with Dreamcatcher the University has been providing training on waste, making, health and safety and design.

Ryan is a member of the Chartered Institution of Waste Management (CIWM) and is also on the editorial panel of the Chartered Institute of Civil Engineers journal Waste and Resource Management.

Approach to teaching

Waste management is a diverse and applied area. Ryan's teaching draws upon his own experiences of working in the industry since the mid-1990s, contemporary case material and resources. Waste features in the news every day, be it stories on food waste, plastic bags, the impacts of waste on the environment and society, the development of new facilities…Ryan integrates these developments into his teaching and to stimulate debate amongst students.

Ryan is passionate about increasing awareness of waste issues outside of the University through teaching and learning. For over a decade he has been working with West Sussex County Council on the award winning Waste Prevention Advisor scheme. This initiative trains volunteers on waste issues who then share their knowledge with their community and peer group promoting the reduction, reuse and recycling of waste. Other initiatives range from training over 250 staff from Brighton & Hove City Council's waste management department to delivering waste management training to community leaders in South Africa.

External positions

External Examiner - MSc Managing Waste and Environmental resources, University of Northampton

1 Oct 201930 Sep 2023

Editorial Panel - Institution of Civil Engineers Journal - Waste and Resource Management

30 Nov 201630 Nov 2019


  • GE Environmental Sciences
  • Waste
  • Recycling
  • Behaviour change
  • Circular Economy


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