Partners close first year of Biocircularcities during General Assembly in Barcelona

For the first time, the members of the consortium met face-to-face during the second General Assembly of the project that took place on 15 September in Barcelona, hosted by the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona. They exchanged views on the progress and future activities of the project, which will celebrate its first year in October. The partners have now completed the analysis of the current situation in the three pilot territories, and each pilot has selected a value-chain relevant to their interest: municipal biowaste in the Metropolitan area of Barcelona, industrial biowaste in the Metropolitan City of Naples, and forestry waste in the Province of Pazardzhik. The economic, environmental, and social impacts of these three value-chains will now be investigated, for both the current situation and for explorative scenarios looking at more circular bioeconomy processes.

An important part was dedicated to the Living Labs and mobilisation of local actors and experts. Indeed, since the aim of the Biocircularcities project is to make policy recommendations for the implementation of new bio-waste recovery pathways, the input of local stakeholders is extremely important.

The Second Living Lab of the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona followed the General Assembly. Participants from municipalities, private waste management companies, consultancies and universities worked together in dynamic group sessions to identify drivers and barriers of the biowaste chain in the Greater Barcelona area. The identified drivers and barriers were categorised as legal/administrative, technical, economic, environmental/health and social and weighted according to their prioritisation. One of the key challenges is the need to improve the quality of the collected biowaste, with new regulations promoting such changes. However, reducing contamination means shifting from the current open street containers to either door-to-door collection or smart bins, with should entail higher collection costs and might face the reluctancy of inhabitants to change their waste sorting habits.