You are here

  1. Home
  2. Dr Rachel Slater

css pmedia

Dr Rachel Slater

head and shoulders picture of Rachel in her office

Profile summary

Professional biography

Dr Rachel Slater is a Senior Lecturer in Sustainable Resource Management based in the School of Engineering and Innovation. She is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Waste Management and was a Trustee of the Community Composting Network. She holds 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.

Rachel first joined the Open University as a research student back in 1998. After completing her PhD she worked as a Research Fellow for several years before her current role as Lecturer. Before joining the OU Rachel worked in the commercial waste and recycling sector.

Research interests

Rachel’s research and scholarship focuses on social and policy aspects of environmental and resource management, particularly waste, 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 Rachel’s research is underpinned by collaborative and trans-disciplinary ways of working using participatory and stakeholder engagement methods and she has carried out research with policymakers and practitioners in the public, private and community sectors.

Teaching interests

Rachel’s teaching reflects her research interests focusing on environmental management and sustainability. She was part of the team that produced U116 Environment: Journeys through a changing world and co-chairs presentations. Over a thousand students a year have studied U116 since its launch in 2009, and in 2012 the team received an OU Teaching Award for inspiring, innovative, student-centred introduction to environmental studies. Rachel is production chair and co-author of the 2nd Edition of U116 due in 2017. Rachel has also authored on other courses including T319 Environmental Management 2 and T867 Managing for sustainability.

Rachel is also one of the STEM Faculty accessibility leads which involves supporting colleagues in designing, developing, producing and delivering more accessible and inclusive courses.


Teaching Environmental Management Competencies Online: Towards “Authentic” Collaboration? (2017)
Bell, Simon; Lane, Andy; Collins, Kevin; Berardi, Andrea and Slater, Rachel
European Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning, 20(1) (pp. 22-44)

Institutional change for improving accessibility in the design and delivery of distance learning – the role of faculty accessibility specialists at The Open University (2015-04)
Slater, Rachel; Pearson, Victoria; Warren, James and Forbes, Tina
Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-learning, 30(1) (pp. 6-20)

Can't you count? Public service delivery and standardized measurement challenges - the case of community composting (2015)
Slater, Rachel and Aiken, Mike
Public Management Review, 17(8) (pp. 1085-1102)

Influencing resourceful behaviours (2013)
Thomas, Christine; Slater, Rachel and Cox, Jayne
Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 79 (pp. 1-3)

A critical evaluation of partnerships in municipal waste management in England (2007-09-01)
Slater, R.; Frederickson, J.; Thomas, C.; Wield, D. and Potter, S.
Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 51(3) (pp. 643-664)

Composting municipal waste in the UK: some lessons from Europe (2001-07)
Slater, R.A. and Frederickson, J.
Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 32(3-4) (pp. 359-374)

The State of composting in the UK in 1999 (2001-06)
Slater, Rachel
Wastes Management (pp. 32-34)

Mapping muck: stakeholders' views on organic waste (2017-09-06)
Lane, Andy; Slater, Rachel and Oreszczyn, Sue
In: Oreszczyn, Sue and Lane, Andy eds. Mapping environmental sustainability: reflecting on systemic practices for participatory research (pp. 129-154)
ISBN : 978-1447331575 | Publisher : Policy Press | Published : Bristol

Are shadows dark?: Governance, informal institutions and corruption in rural India (2007)
High, Chris; Slater, Rachel and Rengasamy, S.
In: Cheshire, Lynda; Higgins, Vaughan and Lawrence, Geoffrey eds. Rural Governance: International Perspectives. Routledge Studies in Human Geography
ISBN : 415399599 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon, UK

Local governance of public services: the role of partnerships in sustainable waste management (2007)
Slater, Rachel
In: Murphy, Joseph ed. Governing Technology for Sustainability (pp. 151-167)
ISBN : 1844073459 | Publisher : Earthscan Publications Ltd | Published : UK

Review of composting practices in the UK (2002-01)
Slater, Rachel; Gilbert, J. and Frederickson, James
In: Engineering for Profit from Waste VI. IMechE Conference Transactions
ISBN : 1860583318 | Publisher : Professional Engineering Publishing | Published : UK

Contextualising the principles, policies and practices needed to implement education for sustainable development into HEIs in Myanmar (2024)
Lwin, Bo; Lane, Andy and Slater, Rachel
In : 4th Southeast Asian Conference on Education (SEACE2024) (15-19 Feb 2024, Chiang Mai, Thailand) (pp. 189-201)

Enhancing sustainable biowaste management in the UK: the role of the commercial and community composting sectors (2009)
Slater, Rachel and Frederickson, James
In : ISWA World Congress 2009 (12-15 Oct 2009, Lisbon, Portugal)

Understanding diversity in community composting: it's all in the mix (2008-09-16)
Slater, Rachel; Frederickson, James; Murray, Richard; Yoxon, Mark; Paton, Rob and Spear, Roger
In : Waste 2008 Conference: Waste and Resource Management - A Shared Responsibility (16-17 Sep 2008, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK)

Managing biowaste and promoting sustainability - profiling community composting (2008-06)
Slater, Rachel and Frederickson, James
In : CIWM Annual Conference and Exhibition (10-13 Jun 2008, Torbay, UK)

Feeling the squeeze? Tabbies or tigers: the case of social enterprises contracting in the fields of recycling and work integration (2007-07)
Aiken, M. and Slater, R.
In : 4th Annual Social Enterprise Research Conference (4-5 Jul 2007, London, UK)

Partnership working: new roles for local authorities (2006-09-19)
Slater, Rachel; Frederickson, James; Thomas, Christine; Potter, Stephen and Wield, David
In : Waste 2006 (19-21 Sep 2006, Warwick, UK) (pp. 623-632)

Motivators and barriers to behavioural change in recycling participation in inner city London (2005-05-13)
Thomas, C.; Yoxon, M.; Slater, R. and Leaman, J.
In : Waste 2005 (11-14 May 2005, Edmonton, Canada)

Changing recycling behaviour: an evaluation of attitudes and behaviour to recycling in the Western Riverside area of London (2004)
Thomas, Christine; Yoxon, Mark; Slater, Rachel and Leaman, John
In : Waste 2004 Integrated Waste Management and Pollution Control Conference (28-30 Sep 2004, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK)

What makes people recycle? An evaluation of attitudes and behaviour in London Western Riverside (2003)
Thomas, Christine; Slater, Rachel; Yoxon, Mark; Leaman, J. and Downing, J.
In : International Solid Waste Association World Congress (Nov 2003, Melbourne, Australia)

Unlocking the potential of community composting: Full project report (2010-12)
Slater, Rachel; Frederickson, James and Yoxon, Mark
Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, London, UK.

Community composting activity in the UK - 2006 (2007-05)
Slater, R. A.
Integrated Waste Systems, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK.

The State of Composting in the UK 2003/04: Results Composting Association's Survey into Composting and Collection Facilities (2005)
Slater, Rachel
The Composting Association

Developing Integrated Waste Management Systems: Information Needs and the Role of Locally Based Data (2003-10)
Thomas, Christine; Frederickson, James; Burnley, Stephen and Slater, Rachel
Integrated Waste Systems, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK.