Course Title: Biosolids and organic wastes - their sustainable management and beneficial use

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Biosolids and organic wastes - their sustainable management and beneficial use

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 2 2015

Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Barry Meehan

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 99252119

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 3.2.11

Course Coordinator Availability: By Appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

To succeed in this course, it is assumed that you have knowledge and skills comparable to a general science degree.


Course Description

The application of organic wastes from treatment plants to agricultural soils is becoming common in Australia but critically dependent on sustainable practice. In this course you will explore a range of organic waste-streams that have potential for land application with a particular focus in biosolids. You will study their generation and characteristics as well as their fate and effects on receiving environments.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following AQF Program Learning Outcomes:

  • PLO 1.1: a body knowledge that includes the understanding of recent developments in both the understanding of environmental processes and the technological advances in measurement techniques, remediation processes and pollution control
  • PLO 1.3 knowledge of the regulatory frameworks and ethical principles relevant to the practice of environmental science and associated technologies
  • PLO 2.2: cognitive, technical and creative skills enabling you to investigate analyse and synthesise complex information, problems, concepts and theories about the environment, and to apply established theories to different areas of knowledge or practice concerning the environment
  • PLO 2.4: communication and technical research skills to enable you to justify and interpret theoretical propositions, methodologies, conclusions and professional decisions to specialist and non-specialist audiences
  • PLO 3.1: creativity and initiative to new situations in your role as an environmental professional practitioner and/or in your further studies


 After successfully completion of this course you should be able to:

  1. Analyse chemical, physical and biological data on organic waste streams to assess their respective potentials for land application
  2. Determine appropriate treatment techniques for specific wastes
  3. Explain the benefits and risks of using these waste-streams as substitutes for conventional soil ameliorants
  4. Identify and manage contaminant risks to receiving environments
  5. Demonstrate an understanding of the various regulations and guidelines for the sustainable land application of specific wastes



Overview of Learning Activities

This course will be delivered in a classroom/workshop format and include participation of a number of industry experts as well as excursions to selected waste treatment facilities and land application sites.

In some circumstances the classroom format could be substituted by an approved collaborative industry based desktop project

Total Study Hours

4 hours per week for the semester comprising face to face lectures, workshops and site visits. You are also expected to spend approximately 4 hours per week on private study, assignment preparation and site visit reporting.


Overview of Learning Resources

The learning resources will be primarily class materials provided on the Learning Hub as well as  the primary scientific literature and industry reports




Overview of Assessment

Note that:

☒This course has no hurdle requirements.

☐ All hurdle requirements for this course are indicated clearly in the assessment regime that follows, against the relevant assessment task(s) and all have been approved by the College Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching). 

Assessment will be by dissertation and class presentation and involve:


  • Dissertation proposal which will test your ability to :
  • Select a suitable topic for investigation based on current literature and industry reports
  • Develop a proposal akin to an industry expression of interest to undertake a desktop study
  • Dissertation which will test your ability to: 
  • Gather, synthesize and critically evaluate information from current literature and industry which contributes to organic wastes management strategies;
  • Produce a professional report on management of an organic waste stream.


  • A workshop presentation, which will test your ability to: 
  • Demonstrate a broad and coherent knowledge and understanding of specific waste management issues in Victoria
  • Demonstrate the inter-connectedness of waste management and reuse strategies in Victoria;
  • Gather, synthesize and critically evaluate information from current literature and industry sources; 
  • Deliver a professional presentation to a local audience 


Assessment tasks are  

  1. Early Assessment Task: (Dissertation proposalWeighting 30%

This assessment task supports CLOs 2,3,4,5

  1. Assessment Task 2: (Dissertation)  Weighting 50%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

  1. Assessment Task 3: (Presentation)  Weighting 20%

This assessment task supports CLO 1,2,3,4,5