Barriers and drivers for a more circular municipal biowaste management in Barcelona

The second Local Living Lab for the metropolitan area of Barcelona successfully took place on 16 September, in the premises of the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona (AMB). Twelve local participants from different backgrounds as well as fifteen participants from the project’s consortium discussed the barriers and drivers for a more circular municipal biowaste management and valorisation in the AMB.

The meeting started with a presentation of the current status of the Biocircularcities project and the results of the first Living Labs by Rosaria Chifari, from Fundació ENT, the project leader. After that, Karin Meisterl, from Fundació ENT, Amalia Zucaro from ENEA and Mélanie Guiton from LIST explained the goals of this second Living Lab and which feedback are expected from the participants, who represent local stakeholders, to identify and analyse barriers and drivers for a more circular municipal biowaste management and valorisation in the AMB. 

After this introduction, the participants had to pin their entity logo to the stage of the municipal biowaste chain they are working on, or they have expertise in, and briefly introduce themselves and their activities within the biowaste management chain. The result helped visualizing graphically the position and the interrelation among the involved local stakeholders in the municipal biowaste chain in the MAB. Participants then worked in groups and identified legal/administrative, technical, economic, environmental/health, and social barriers and drivers to the implementation of circular bioeconomy in the biowaste management in the AMB. To facilitate the debate a questionnaire was distributed in advance to share and receive feedback on drivers and barriers identified so far throughout the biowaste value chain.

The participants concluded that the main drivers were:

  • food waste ordinances;
  • grants for  biowaste research;
  • prioritising the use of biowaste as animal food instead of compost;
  • the role that local food supply plays in food waste prevention;
  • the prohibition to burn garden waste;
  • technological innovation in separate biowaste collection to improve the quality and quantity collected;
  • new legislation to improve the quality of the biowaste;
  • the use of compost to improve agricultural soil and policy incentives.

In terms of barriers, participants mainly mentioned bureaucracy, slow transposition of legislation, lack of experience with smarts bins, high cost of new collecting systems, lack of legislation for bioplastics, citizen’s acceptance of new collection systems and lack of knowledge in dealing with Big Data.