Meeting the biowaste challenge

Photo by Patricia Valério on Unsplash

Biowaste management was in the focus of a thematic workshop of the Interreg Europe Policy Learning Platform. Organised last January, it featured a keynote speech by ACR+, one of the Biocircularcities partners.

Jean-Benoit Bel shared the network’s view on “what it takes to meet the biowaste challenge“. He talked about the parameters of successful biowaste collection schemes, illustrated with examples of best practices such as the schemes implemented Milan, Ealing, and Parma. He concluded his speech with policy recommendations needed to increase biowaste collection in their respective regions.

The workshop included another keynote speech by the European Biowaste Association. It focused on the opportunities related to biogas production from biowaste, possibilities of using anaerobic digestion as a pre-treatment stage of composting and increasing growth of biomethane production.

Biogas and composting under review

Two main topics were covered by the workshop: composting and biogas. For that, two working groups took place.

The parallel session on biogas featured presentations of a Finnish study on the different biowaste treatment options and the Finnish Biogas Programme, a biogas production and food waste collection scheme in Linköping, Sweden, as well a presentation on the ‘Biogas Lagada’ plant in Greece. The benefits of using anaerobic digestion as a pre-treatment of composting were debated in a lively discussion.

The parallel session on composting has seen examples of tax and economic incentives from the Italian municipality of Casalgrande, an example of community composting in the Slovakian city of Nitra and a home composting pilot scheme from Greece. The panellists of the session underlined that proper training and communication and the enthusiasm of local citizens are vital for the success of composting schemes.

Recordings and presentation

The entire workshop has been recorded and the different sessions can be found on the Interreg Europe Youtube channel:

A summary of the workshop and the various presentations are available here.

Policy brief on biowaste management

Ahead of the workshop, the Interreg Europe Policy Learning Platform had published a policy brief on “The biowaste management challenge“. It provides an outlook on EU initiatives that local and regional authorities should refer to for boosting their biowaste collection, prevention and recycling rates in compliance with the EU Directives and to the benefit of a local circular economy.

CR+ contributed by sharing recommendations to local policy makers and practitioners in view of the increasing EU ambitions and targets and to engage public and private actors in circular biowaste management. Public authorities across Europe are called upon to set and replicate awareness-raising programmes; adopt effective fiscal measures; ease regulations on food redistribution; and create new social spaces for food redistribution and valorisation of local products.

The policy brief also presents a selection of Interreg Europe good practices and related EU-funded projects with a high degree of replicability and adaptability to other municipal contexts.

Source: Interreg Europe