[ee-jes-tuh, ih-jes-]

noun, ( used with a singular or plural verb)

Matter digested from the body, as excrement or other waste. (dictionary.com)


The words we use to talk about things has a major impact on our thinking, what we see as problematic and the solutions that come to mind. ‘Egesta’ had no meaning to us until we stumbled on it in a thesaurus. A blank slate to be filled with meaning. A conversation starter. In contrast to other potential terms that are more commonly used, it is not tied to a certain way of thinking about these issues. We settled on this new but old term to signal the need to break with rigid thought patterns, without losing sight of the past. To inspire the much-needed re-framing of challenges and opportunities, and the re-imagining of workable solutions.




Welcome to the Egesta Lab in the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability (IRES) at the University of British Columbia. Here you will find updates about our research, links to research and mobilization outputs, updates and information on our team members and opportunities to engage with us! We appreciate your interest in our work and would love to hear from you!



Major Research Projects

Science, Values, and Wastewater Controversies

We are examining the relationship between the values held by scientific experts, their disciplinary identities and the evidence-based policies they recommend and exploring how embracing the diversity of values among experts can be used to strengthen the democratic process… Read More

Public Perceptions of Biosolids Management

This is a mixed-methodological study conducted in the BC Southern Interior (Kamloops, Merritt and Princeton, BC) examining residents’ attitudes and risk perceptions surrounding the resource recovery and land application of biosolids in their community… Read More

Managing Human Excreta to Support Soil Regeneration

This research asks: how can the recycling of nutrients contained in human excreta to food production best support farming systems and practices that regenerate rather than impoverish agricultural soil and landscapes?… Read More



  • Mason-Renton, S. A., and Luginaah, I. (Forthcoming). Conceptualizing waste as a Resource: Urban biosolids processing in the rural landscape. The Canadian Geographer
  • Metson, G., S. M Powers, R. L. Hale, J. Sayles, G. Öberg, G. K. MacDonald, Y. Kuwayama, N. Springer, A. Weatherley, K. L. Hondula, K. Jones, R. B. Chowdhury, A. H. W. Beusen, A. F. Bouwman. (Forthcoming). Socio-environmental assessment of phosphorus flows in the urban sanitation chain of diverse cities. Regional Environmental Change

…Read More