The Biocircularcities guidelines to facilitate the replication of the pilots’ experiences

Picture by Hansjörg Keller on Unsplash

The Biocircularcities project intends to develop guidelines facilitating the replication of the approaches defined and experienced in each of the three pilots, with the global goal of fostering the transition towards sustainable biowaste management system in compliance with the circular bioeconomy principles across Europe.

Available through a web application, the Biocircularcities guidelines will aim at overcoming the lack of easily accessible tool helping public authorities and private entities to identify the available technologies for such transformation, depending on a set of criteria largely influenced by the local context.

They will be developed as a supportive tool for the identification of the most suitable value chain, through the identification of the most suitable bio-circular technologies. The guidelines shall address the needs of public and private decision makers along the Biocircularcities biomass waste value chains and shall be replicable to different types of biomass waste, given any geographical, political and socio-economic contexts. They intend to screen the socio-economic, political and environmental context of the territory in which the value chain shall be implemented, and to evaluate which technological pathway(s) for the biowaste valorisation would be potentially compatible with the described surrounding context.

The approach followed by partners to prepare the development of the guidelines and its results are explained in the report “Definition of the Scope of Circular Bioeconomy for biowaste management in urban areas”.

Driving forces and criteria of influence

The Biocircularcities partners identified and structured the principles, concepts, contextual values and parameters of influence for the design of new biocircular value chains and technical pathways for biowaste valorisation and treatment.

In particular, they isolated seven “driving forces” for a successful sustainable, circular bioeconomy strategy:

  1. Appropriate and up to date policy framework;
  2. Shift to more sustainable consumption patterns in support to the market transition towards sustainable circular bioeconomy;
  3. Cross sectoral cooperation and innovation;
  4. Development of a skilled and competent workforce at the European level;
  5. Sustainable management and use of biological resources;
  6. Funding and investment resources to support the development of a competitive, sustainable, circular bioeconomy;
  7. Ensuring the transition to a sustainable circular bioeconomy.

Following this, they defined almost 30 criteria of influence for decision making regarding the design and development of sustainable circular bioeconomy value chains and associated technological solutions. These criteria can be intrinsic to the feedstock properties (e.g. composition and quality in terms of content of high-value substances or molecules, presence of contaminants…).

The efficiency of technological options for recycling or recovery is also of influence, as well as the potential associated technical constrains. The most convenient pathway towards waste biomass valorisation strongly depends on drivers and barriers related to the local political and socio-economic context such as the local political agenda or the availability of financial support, and on the potential sustainability strategic targets for the local authorities and private stakeholders endorsing the responsibility of waste biomass management

Discover these criteria in the report “Definition of the Scope of Circular Bioeconomy for biowaste management in urban areas” or in its public summary.