Ben Madden is an experienced data analyst and modeller specialising in spatial problems, environmental management, waste management, and energy efficiency. His experience includes end-use energy and water consumption modelling (residential and commercial), behavioural modelling, numerical simulation of complex systems, statistical analysis, geoinformation science, and qualitative policy research.
Ben’s current work at the Institute for Sustainable Futures includes developing a robust method for detecting tree growth from open-access high-resolution imagery; socioeconomic and biophysical drivers of urban tree growth, and; developing a decision support tool through simulation for the assessment of resource recovery interventions for New South Wales waste management systems.
Madden, B, Florin, N, Mohr, S & Giurco, D 2019, 'Using the waste Kuznet's curve to explore regional variation in the decoupling of waste generation and socioeconomic indicators', Resources, Conservation and Recycling, vol. 149, pp. 674-686.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2019 Decoupling of resource consumption from economic growth is a key principle in the transition towards a circular economy. This study explores regional variation in the decoupling of waste generation from mean income in the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW), following the Waste Kuznet's curve (WKC) hypothesis. The WKC hypothesis tests for the existence of a relationship between waste and economic indicators conforming to an inverted-U shape that may indicate decoupling. A geographically and temporally weighted regression (GTWR) model is used to test the WKC hypothesis for municipal waste from 2011 to 2015. We identify municipalities conforming to the WKC hypothesis, and examine the socioeconomic and urban morphological characteristics of these municipalities. Results show that waste policy must be targeted to consider local variability in socioeconomics. Municipalities across rural NSW were found to conform to the WKC over the time frame. WKC-conforming municipalities had higher per-capita rates of waste generation, and lower mean incomes compared to non-conforming municipalities. Ratios of tipping point (global maximum) to mean income for WKC conforming municipalities were estimated between 0.8 and 2, indicating that these municipalities are in stages of relative, rather than absolute, decoupling. This study demonstrates the application of the WKC for examining decoupling, and highlights the importance of considering variations in regional characteristics when assessing the decoupling of waste generation from income. Findings also broadly suggest regionally specific policy making is required for circular economy transitions in NSW.
Carrard, N, Madden, B, Chong, J, Grant, M, Tuyen, PN, Ly, HB, Hue, TTH & Willetts, J 2019, 'Are piped water services reaching poor households? Empirical evidence from rural Viet Nam', WATER RESEARCH, vol. 153, pp. 239-250.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Connon, I, Prior, JH, McIntyre, E, Adams, J & Madden, B 2019, 'How does living with a disability affect resident worry about environmental contamination? A study of a long-term pervasive hazard', Environmental Hazards.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Prior, JH, Gorman-Murray, A, McIntyre, E, Connon, I, Adams, J & Madden, B 2019, 'A geography of residents' worry about the disruptive effects of contaminated sites', Geographical Research, vol. 57, no. 1, pp. 52-66.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
McIntyre, E, Prior, J, Connon, ILC, Adams, J & Madden, B 2018, 'Sociodemographic predictors of residents worry about contaminated sites.', Science of the Total Environment, vol. 643, pp. 1623-1630.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
The management and remediation of contaminated environments increasingly involves engagement with affected local residents. Of late, risk communication tools and guidelines have drawn attention to the stress and concern of residents as a result of heightened awareness of localised contamination and the need to address these less visible impacts of contamination when engaging with affected communities. Despite this emerging focus, there is an absence of research exploring the factors that predict resident worry about neighbourhood contamination. This paper aims to address this shortcoming by drawing on data from a cross-sectional survey of 2009 adult residents in neighbourhoods near 13 contaminated sites across Australia. Analyses used ordered logistic regression to determine the sociodemographic, environmental, and knowledge-based factors that influence residents' degree of worry. The findings suggest age, gender and income significantly affect residents' degree of worry. Being knowledgeable about the contaminant was associated with lower degrees of worry. Conversely, having a stronger sense of place within a neighbourhood predicted higher degrees of worry. Type of contaminant also impacted resident worry, with residents being less likely to worry about hydrocarbon, asbestos and waste than other types of contaminants. Our analyses suggest resident worry can be reduced through improving access to accurate information and the development of specific risk reduction strategies tailored to each neighbourhood and aimed at the heterogeneous distribution of worry amongst residential populations.
Connon, I, Prior, J, McIntyre, E, Adams, J & Madden, B 2018, 'The relations between disability and residents worry about environmental contamination', Australian Public Health Conference 2018, Australian Public Health Conference, Cairns, Queensland, Australia.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Madden, B, Florin, N & Giurco, D 2016, 'Assessment of waste to energy as a resource recovery intervention using system dynamics: A case study of New South Wales, Australia', Life Cycle Assessment and Other Assessment Tools For Waste Management and Resource Optimisation, Grand Hotel San Michele.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Driven by an increasing population, affluence and economic activity, waste—an almost inevitable by-product of modern production and consumption—is being generated at a rate that is growing exponentially with time in Australia. Despite the global maturity of waste to energy technology as a waste valorisation process, it is yet to be applied at scale in Australia, which has traditionally relied on landfill disposal, and more recently recycling, for the management of waste. Recent policy frameworks implemented have enabled the uptake of waste to energy in parts of Australia to divert waste from landfill, while offsetting non-renewable energy sources in the transition to a low-carbon energy landscape. However, recent policy dictates that higher order waste valorisation processes such as re-use and recycling, must not be undermined by energy recovery processes.
In this paper, we present initial findings from a system dynamics model, developed to assess interventions to improve resource recovery in a multi-stream (municipal, construction and commercial) waste system specific to New South Wales. The system under investigation is characterised by causal feedback processes between waste generation, valorisation processes, and waste management policies, making it ideal for study using a system dynamics approach, and offers benefits in terms of greater understanding of the system processes over more typical mechanistic approaches . System dynamics modelling has been used in the study of sustainable waste management, and waste management planning (see , , and ), and has yet to be applied in the context of waste to energy in Australia. Using socioeconomic and waste management data as inputs, projected waste generation and recycling rates under reference conditions are compared to scenarios with waste to energy intervention, to estimate the potential of energy recovery in achieving local waste management targets. Several scenarios are modelled with variation in al...
Prior, J, Wilmot, K, Daly, M & Madden, B 2018, How do households adapt to heat events in Western Sydney?, prepared for NSW Adaption Hub, Office of Environment and Heritage, by Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS, Sydney, Australia.
The Hort Innovation Green Cities project 'Measuring Australia's Green Space Asset' (MUGS) undertook a global review of urban green space (UGS) measurement research and engaged with Australian stakeholders to gauge current practice. The overall aim of the project was to foster best-practice UGS planning and management by juxtaposing the scientific state of the art with the contextualised needs expressed by potential Australian end users. The synthesis of findings informed a 'blueprint' which sketches the contours of a possible nationally consistent UGS decision-support framework. The framework is illustrated with a worked example from Australia (rapid assessment of urban green space assets using satellite imagery).
Madden, B & Downes, J Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2016, Increasing commercial food waste collection services—literature review of Australian and international initiatives, Sydney, Australia.
The NSW Organics Infrastructure Fund has various waste programs focused on waste avoidance, local government household organics collections, organics processing, and markets for processed, source-separated organics. One of the program, Bin Trim, supports small to medium sized enterprises to monitor, reduce and manage waste including organic food waste.
However there is currently a lack of collection services for source separated, commercial food waste. The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is investigating options for incentivising commercial food-only collection services. To complement separate research on the barriers to the establishment and expansion of commercial food waste collections in NSW, the EPA commissioned ISF to undertake a literature review of Australian and international initiatives that have sought to provide incentives to increase commercial food waste collection services. The review identified a number of government funded initiatives in other states, particularly SA, as well as examples by the UK Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP). A review of the United States, and academic literature did not yield relevant examples. In these contexts the focus remains on household food waste collection.
Florin, N, Madden, B, Sharpe, S, Benn, S, Agarwal, R, Perey, R & Giurco, D University of Technology Sydney 2015, Shifting Business Models for a Circular Economy: Metals Management for Multi-Product-Use Cycles, pp. 1-90, Sydney, Australia.
The overarching aim of this report is to explore how the Australian metals and minerals sector could embrace new business models and build on its strengths to harness new value in a global economy orientated more towards sustainable futures
The Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) at the University of Technology Sydney, undertook a review of the environmental effects of the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) Scheme on behalf of the Australian Government Department of the Environment.
The review analysed several facets of the Scheme, including:
* the interactions between WELS and other urban water policies
* changes in the products registered and sold since the commencement of WELS
* changes in water consumption since the commencement of WELS
* energy, greenhouse and household bill impacts associated with reduced water consumption