I was searching for stand-alone bachelor degrees in the field of Engineering related to recycling.

Is there a particular discipline in the engineering field concerned with the various ways and approaches to recycling? If not, what is the academic discipline that is most closely related?

  • 2
    Recycling what? It makes quite a difference whether you want to recycle ink from paper, phosphorus from sewage, or gold from electronics - just too name a few. Voting to close as too broad.
    – user2451
    Aug 30, 2016 at 12:33
  • @JanDoggen Initially, I was going to include large scale recycling approaches but I intentionally left it broad so that I can gather more information. From what I can see, It seems that there is no stand-alone field.
    – egy
    Sep 1, 2016 at 8:26
  • 1
    Take a look at the companies Avantium and RenewCO2 and the discipline is the science of chemistry. Now there are also hundreds of similar companies.
    – S Spring
    Oct 28, 2020 at 12:53
  • I will definitely take a look, thanks!
    – egy
    Oct 31, 2020 at 22:46

3 Answers 3


A recycling process is usually very specific for the material that should be recycled. There isn't really a single discipline called recycling engineering (yet). The most common profession among people who design and improve recycling processes is probably chemical engineering, but people from other disciplines are usually involved as well:

  • mechanical engineering: e.g. design and manufacture sorting machines,
  • materials science: e.g. investigate materials that are better recycable, improve recycled product quality,
  • environmental engineering: investigate impact of waste and recycling processes on environment,
  • industrial design: design products that are better recyclable,
  • electrical engineering / computer engineering: automated material detection and sorting systems.
  • 3
    Getting further away from "Engineering", one could also include "Social engineering" — e.g. for new recycling policies and their adoption — and "Urban planning" for how and where the waste gets recycled.
    – Earthliŋ
    Sep 6, 2016 at 7:27
  • 1
    @Earthliŋ +1 for the recycling policies part. Answer accepted, and hopefully there will be a combination of such fields in academia to serve Sustainability and Recycling systems.
    – egy
    Jan 16, 2017 at 17:50

At the mining university of Leoben they have recycling engineering bachelor and masters. But it's in german.

  • 1
    And their website is very brief on the contents and scope :-(
    – THelper
    Oct 28, 2020 at 12:29
  • Their description is a bit vague too, but nonetheless it's useful. Thanks for sharing!
    – egy
    Oct 31, 2020 at 22:44

Good fields to look into would be Bio engineering or environmental engineering. There also programs at certain schools, depending on where you are located, that have programs that focus on the technical side of sustainability.

  • Bio & chemical engineering are the closest. Do you know any other fields outside engineering ? grad and bachelor programs are preferable
    – egy
    Sep 1, 2016 at 8:31

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.