Barcelona successfully hosts its first Living Lab

Barcelona celebra amb èxit el seu primer Living Lab

The first Local Living Lab of Biocircularcities in the metropolitan area of Barcelona was held on 22 March. The meeting took place online due to the current pandemic situation. Eighteen participants from different backgrounds attended the meeting.

The Biocircularcities project was presented by Rosaria Chifari, from Fundació ENT, the project leader. She explained the aim of the project and the goals of this first Living Lab, focusing on the analysis of the current biowaste management system in the metropolitan area of Barcelona, one of the pilots of the project, and identifying the faced challenges and the good practices that can be introduced to improve the system.

Victor Mitjans, from the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona, gave a hint on how the biowaste stream is managed, the local legislation implemented and the good practices already in place. He also explained the biowaste chain selected from this project, and the alternative scenario to be analysed which includes the biowaste source separated from door to door and smart bin collections and their valorisation as compost, biogas, biosolvent and other products with added value.

After this introduction the participants were encouraged to debate on the challenges in the management of biowaste from MSW.  The conclusions of this debate were that the high amount of impurities in this stream has to be addressed, door to door or smarts bin collection have to be promoted, giving credit to people who separate right is better than fining people who do not, the regulatory framework has to be revised in order to allow new products into the market, politicians have to support the changes and citizens have to be well informed.

Although the second debate was focused on successful stories or possible alternatives on circular bioeconomy to improve the management and/or valorisation for the biowaste from MSW, the participants were more eager to debate about the possible alternatives to be applied.

The conclusions of this second debate were that separate collection has to be improved, the new added valued product as bioplastics cannot be escalated to an industrial level yet as the performance of the process is very low and that it could be interesting to include the upgrading of the biogas to biomethane as part of the selected chain for the metropolitan area of Barcelona pilot.

Presentations and other outputs will soon be available on the event page.