HOOP – Hub of circular cities boosting platform to foster investments for the valorisation of urban biowaste and wastewater
Updated on 31.01.2023
Urban biowaste is an important environmental issue, as each person in Europe generates around 200 kg of urban biowaste per year. The current systems for urban biowaste treatment (composting) do not use their whole potential and the final products do not have a high added value. A similar problem happens with the sludge produced in the urban wastewater treatment plants.
Circular bio-economy offers innovative solutions using biowaste as resources for obtaining high added-value bioproducts. However, their implementation on industrial scale faces important barriers, not only technical, but also economical, legal and administrative, among others. The HOOP project will help to unlock urban circular bio-economy projects and deploy local bio economies in eight European cities and regions (known as Lighthouses (LH)) by providing Project Development Assistance (PDA) and tools to overcome their barriers. The projects are targeted to the material valorisation of organic fraction municipal solid waste (OFMSW) and urban wastewater sludge (UWWS) into high added-value products, which are beyond the usual compost and biogas products.The PDA will be tailored for each LH, including technical, environmental, economic and legal assistance, containing also tailored Circular Business Models, as well as financing mechanisms to be used for mobilising investment.
Moreover, HOOP will launch stakeholder engagement and citizen science initiatives to raise citizen awareness, promote behavioural change and the acceptability of biowaste-based products. The HOOP project will also disseminate good practices and lessons-learnt through the development of online platforms (Urban Circular Bioeconomy Hub, Virtual Academy) and tools. HOOP will also feature replicability through the creation of the HOOP Network of Cities and Regions, a platform for exchange of knowledge and experiences about urban circular bio-economy for cities and regions around Europe, including the participation in webinars, activities and events.
CETENMA (Asociacion Empresarial Centro Tecnologico De La Energia y Del Medio Ambiente De La Region De Murcia), Spain
Albano-Laziale, Almere, Kuopio, Münster and Murcia
Western Macedonia, Greater Porto, Bergen
Scope and objectives
Scope: unlock bio-based investments and deploy local bio-economies in Europe. This refers mainly to projects about material valorisation of urban biowaste and wastewater sludge besides composting and anaerobic digestion.
- To provide PDAs to eight LHs, geographically distributed across Europe, and with different sizes and socio-economic structures, acting as demonstrators for a network of cities and regions. The PDAs will provide technical, economical, legal, feasibility and business assistance for the implementation of projects for the valorisation of OFMSW and UWWS to produce high added-value bio-based materials. The core activities of the PDAs will bridge the gap between local Circular Economy Strategies and the concrete investments for the launch and implementation of the respective projects, including the required procurement processes.
- The creation and on-going consolidation of a procurer’s group who, pooling their needs and efforts, contribute to create a new EU market, breaking down the barriers to the adoption of innovative products and services in the field of OFMSW or UWWS and bio-based products.
- To promote engagement of quadruple helix stakeholders through the Biowaste Clubs in the LHs. HOOP will promote actions to guarantee stakeholder and community mobilisation. Various engagement activities will be launched at each LH through the Biowaste Clubs (BCs) to ensure that all key local actors along the biowaste value chain are involved and work together to remove any barriers to local uptake of the projects developed under HOOP framework. These activities can, for instance, be the co-design and implementation of a proper collection of OFMSW. At the same time, BC activities will promote behavioural change, acceptability of biowaste-based products as well as food waste prevention.
- Guarantee a high impact through the replicability of the project actions by:
1. creating an extensive network of cities and regions;
2. encouraging them to replicate HOOP actions and results to improve their Circular Economy Strategies. Depending on the specific Circular Economy Strategies, their size and socio-economic context, each city/region will be matched to a LH to further promote the adoption of the HOOP results.
- Create the Urban Circular Bioeconomy Hub (UCBH) as an online platform to allow for showcasing the HOOP and other ongoing Urban Biowaste project results, promote replicability, and facilitate the exchange of good practices and lessons learned among circular bio-based cities. The UCBH will contain self-assessment tools, a virtual academy, the HOOP tools for evaluation and decision-making, and will host and manage the membership of the network of cities and regions. It will also increase the HOOP engagement capacity with actions targeted to quadruple helix stakeholders.
- Develop the HOOP Circularity Label, as an instrument to evaluate cities’ current position and performance in regard to the implementation of circular measures at a city level. Moreover, it will serve as the baseline to efficiently launch green policies at a city level and to effectively boost and implement investment projects for the production of urban biowaste and wastewater-based products.
Previous public deliverables:
- D4.1 Novel Circular Business Models applied in the value chain of bio-waste valorisation (D4.1)
- D8.3 HOOP guidance for the organisation of National Replication Workshops (D8.3)
- D6.2 Short explainer video about the Biowaste Clubs (HOOP | What is a Biowaste Club? - YouTube)
Upcoming public deliverables before the end of HOOP:
- D6.3 Report on the engagement activities implemented through the Biowaste Clubs (September 2022)
- D5.3 Circular Evaluation Framework guidance report (September 2023)
- D8.4 National action manuals for local uptake and replicability (December 2023)
- D5.8 Open market consultations report (January 2024)
- D8.5 HOOP guidelines for local and regional authorities (March 2024)
- D6.7 Roadmap 2030 per Lighthouse (July 2024)
These are the public deliverables with higher relevance for CCRI purpose. Several public deliverables are scheduled for the last month of the project (September 2024), most of which evaluate the performance of HOOP. From the confidential deliverables, there are available public versions of the D2.4 Investment Package Manual and factsheets on some of the technologies of D2.2 State-of-the-art of technologies for the production of bio-based products from urban biowaste and wastewater. For more information, check the HOOP Library and HOOP Virtual Academy.
Key messages for project promoters
- Learn and understand the city/region context very well.
- Fluent communication and trust-building with the cities/regions for the assistance with the implementation of CSS.
- Assessment of the circularity status of the cities/regions (i.e. through urban metabolism analysis) to evaluate the margin of improvement and how realistic the targets are.
- Quadruple-helix stakeholder engagement, especially the companies.
- Data validation (i.e. standardisation in definitions or units).
- A tailor-made approach.
- Impact monitoring (multidisciplinary).
- Establish a clear roadmap for the definition of the projects, identifying and filling the gaps in information or studies required.
Description of future collaboration with CCRI-CSO
- Input, support and, in particular, knowledge provision to the Thematic Working Groups of the CCRI-CSO.
- Sharing of knowledge so that the best practices and business models can be replicated to other regions.
- PDA methodology as input for CCRI methodology.
- Usage of tools developed by HOOP. For example, HOOP Bio-Circularity Label, as an instrument to evaluate cities’ current position and performance regarding the implementation of circular measures at city level. Moreover, it will serve as the baseline to efficiently launch green policies at a city level and to effectively boost and implement investment projects for the production of urban biowaste and wastewater-based products.
- Participation in CCRI webinars and technical workshops.
- Fellows focussed on Bioeconomy and possibly pilots to join the HOOP network, especially the ones focused on bioeconomy.
- Collaboration with ROOTS initiative (project cluster on biowaste valorisation).
CCRI relevant material
- The HOOP Dictionary: key concepts and terms that define the themes and activities of the HOOP project in the field of urban bioeconomy: https://hoopproject.eu/dictionary/
- Urban Circular Bioeconomy webinar series (Urban Circular Bioeconomy Webinar Series • HOOP), organised together with SCALIBUR, VALUEWASTE, WaysTUP!:
- Selective collection of urban biowaste
- Stakeholder engagement & citizen awareness
- Technologies for urban biowaste and wastewater valorisation
- New business models
- Safety and acceptance of bio-based products
- Policy influence
- EU Green Week 2021:
- Investment in Circular projects: HOOP_How_investors_see_circular_projects
- HOOP Network: Network Green-Week-Event
- New Circular Business Models: Circular business models
- HOOP Lunch talks (available only for cities and regions members of HOOP Network)
- Technology factsheets (available in the HOOP Library)
- The HOOP Network of Cities and Regions
- Urban Circular Bioeconomy Hub,
- HOOP Virtual Academy
- HOOP Bio-Circularity Label
Findings: regulatory bottlenecks
Until now, findings have been identified from the ROOTS initiative (ROOTS Position Paper):
- lack of specific targets on biowaste recycling;
- ambiguity in the definition of by-product and waste, with all what this involves in terms of further applications;
- unclear procedure to determine end-of-waste status;
- lack of specific regulation for biopesticides;
- targets for biowaste reduction, other than food waste, not set;
- regulatory hindrance to the application of bioproducts (i.e. insects, single cell protein) coming from biowaste to nutrition market sector, either feed or food, due to animal by-products legislation;
- low quality in urban biowaste.
Additional specific regulatory bottlenecks might arise depending on national/regional/local policy and on the nature of the projects.
Findings: regulatory drivers
Some identified regulatory drivers are:
- The existence of Circular Economy Action Plans (CEAPs) on a municipal/regional level. This is an important driver as shows the commitment of the city to promote circular economy (CE) and provides a plan for its implementation.
- The inclusion of circularity parameters in local/regional policies. This is a tool for the local authorities to support circularity, which might for instance involve sustainable events or green public procurement.
- Use of innovation public procurement.
- Regulation 2019/1009 (fertilisers) acting as an enabler for some technologies of biowaste management (biochar, struvite).
- Promotion of biopesticides through sustainable use of pesticides policies.
- Extension of the use of insects to poultry and pig feed.
It is expected that more regulatory drivers will be identified once the exchange of knowledge between cities and regions in the HOOP Network starts.
There are different financing options depending on the CE solution. The amount of capital required, the territory and the nature of the project (technology readiness, stakeholders) are factors that determine the solution. This includes both funding programmes and investors (i.e. venture capitals). EU Taxonomy is a key aspect for financing. A detailed description and recommendations is found in the public version of D2.4 Investment Package Manual, available in HOOP Library and HOOP Virtual Academy.
The Circular Investors Board (CIB) is an advisory body formed by different investor profiles, including the EIB, with expertise in sustainable finance, providing guidance for the financial PDA.
Environmental outcomes of circular economy solutions
The environmental outcomes of the CE solutions are not yet available at this stage of the project. The outcomes are connected both to the increase in separate collection and to the impacts of the bioproducts. Evaluations will be done by the end of the HOOP project, as part of project impact assessment.
Social outcomes of circular economy solutions
The project has already generated some social impact through the citizen participation in Biowaste Clubs (Stakeholder engagement). Awareness-raising and co-creation activities have begun in this framework. Citizen science is also developing an App to gather data on acceptability/improvement of the separate collection. The project also has a high number of followers on social networks, indicating a significant impact. Higher social impacts are expected at further stages of the project.
Economic outcomes of circular economy solutions
The economic outcomes are not available yet. They are to be evaluated at further stages of the project.
The HOOP project has a narrower scope of activity than CSS, as it is based on specific projects and on bioeconomy. The applicability of experiences from HOOP will depend much on the proposed CSS in the corresponding CCRI pilot city. Some of the experiences in HOOP have potential transposition to other areas besides bioeconomy. Our Cities and Regions in HOOP are receiving assistance through our PDA.
Main project stakeholders
Citizens, industries, decision makers, academia
- Instituto Tecnologico Del Embalaje, Transporte y Logistica, Spain (ITENE)
- Sociedad Anonima Agricultores de la Vega de Valencia, Spain (SAV)
- Draxis Environmental SA, Greece
- Nafigate Corporation, A.S., Czechia
- Fundacion Centro Gallego De Investigaciones Del Agua, Spain (CETAQUA)
- Research4life B.V., Netherlands
- Association Des Villes Et Regions Pour La Gestion Durable Des Ressources, Belgium (ACR+)
- Greenovate! Europe, Belgium
- Science for Change, SL, Spain
- Sustentepopeia Unipessoal Lda, Portugal (2GO OUT)
- Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production GmbH, Germany (CSCP)
- RdA – Climate Solutions Unipessoal Lda, Portugal
- Bax & Company BV, Netherlands
- Bedin Sara, Italy
- Savonia-Ammattikorkeakoulu Oy, Finland
- BIR AS, Norway
- Gemeente Almere, Netherlands
- ANCI Associazione Regionale Comuni Italiani Lazio, Italy
- Servico Intermunicipalizado De Gestao De Residuos Do Grande Porto, Portugal (LIPOR)
- Cluster Viooikonomias Kai Perivallontos Dytikis Makedonias, Greece (CluBE)
- Ayuntamiento De Murcia, Spain
- Stadt Munster, Germany (AWM)