About Us


What is CIBR?

CIBR is a transdisciplinary collaboration, led by ESR, which incorporates scientists and researchers from Scion, Manaaki Whenua-Landcare Research, Cawthron Institute, University of Canterbury, NIWA, Northcott Research Consultants, Kukupa Research, Massey University, and Lowe Environmental Impact.

CIBR team members

Our Mission

Our goal is to develop safe and sustainable options for reusing biowaste by building a greater understanding of the environmental risks and the benefits of biowaste reuse and recycling to land.


Biowaste - a wicked problem

Biowaste is any solid or liquid organic, biodegradable waste, which includes sewage sludge, organic industrial waste; agricultural waste; kitchen/food waste; green waste, sewage effluent and greywater.

Safe and sustainable biowaste management is a ‘wicked’ problem because of its inextricable mix of social, economic, environmental, infrastructural, political and cultural factors. Tackling this ‘wicked’ problem requires a transdisciplinary, holistic approach underpinned by the very best science and innovation.

Most biowastes have good prospects for alternative, economical and beneficial end-use options. Beneficial use of biowaste may offset the cost of inorganic fertilizers, whilst improving soil quality. However, we need to manage other components present such as: microbes, trace elements, organics contaminants, and nutrients.

To know more about biowaste go here: What is biowaste?


Four teams - One goal

To address this wicked problem in a holistic and transdisciplinary way, the CIBR team works across four main disciplines:

- Social and Cultural Research

- Ecotoxicology Research

- Microbiology Research

- Soil and Plant Research