Over the past 30 years the literature has burgeoned with bioremediation approaches to heavy metal removal from wastes. The price of base and precious metals has dramatically increased. With the resurgence of nuclear energy uranium has become a strategic resource. Other ‘non-carbon energy’ technologies are driven by the need to reduce CO2 emissions. The ‘New Biohydrometallurgy’ we describe unites these drivers by the concept of conversion of wastes into new materials for environmental applications. The new materials, fashioned, bottom-up, into nanomaterials under biocontrol, can be termed ‘Functional Bionanomaterials’. This new discipline, encompassing waste treatment along with nanocatalysis or other applications, can be summarized as ‘Environmental Bionanotechnology’. Several case histories illustrate the scope and potential of this concept.