Rachel Slater


I first joined the Open University as a PhD research student in 1998. Since then I have worked as a Research Fellow and am now a Lecturer in Sustainable Resource Management, my research is based in the Integrated Waste Systems group.Before joining the OU I worked in the commercial waste and recycling sector.

I carry out research and supervise PhD students in the areas of social and policy aspects of waste and resource management, and in particular recycling and composting. Recent project areas include: the role of partnerships for innovative approaches to re-use, recycling and composting; decentralised biowaste systems and community composting; public attitudes and participation; recycling scheme performance; and social value from recycling and composting.

Most of my research is underpinned by collaborative and trans-disciplinary ways of working using participatory and stakeholder engagement methods and I have carried out research with policymakers and practitioners in the public, private and community sectors.

I teach on environmental and sustainability qualifications at undergraduate and postgraduate level. I hold a PhD in organic waste management, an MA in Environmental Law and Policy and a First Class Joint Honours Degree in Environmental Management and Business Administration. I am a Member of the Chartered Institute of Waste Management and a Trustee of the Community Composting Network.

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