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Knowledge category: Projects

A DECentralIzed management Scheme for Innovative Valorization of urban biowastE

Updated on 09.12.2022

The DECISIVE project proposed to change the present urban metabolism for organic matter (foods, plants, etc.), energy and biowaste to a more circular economy and to assess the impacts of these changes on the whole waste management cycle.

Acronym: DECISIVE
Countries: Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Spain
Project website: www.decisive2020.eu
Start and end date: 01.09.2016 - 31.10.2021
Budget: 8 614 266 EUR
Funding source: Horizon 2020

More information

The growing attractiveness of cities leads to rising populations, thus increasing energy and food demands in urban areas. This makes urban waste management increasingly challenging, both in terms of logistics and environmental or health impacts. To decrease the cities’ environmental impacts and to contribute to a better resilience of urban areas towards energy or food supply crises, waste management systems must be improved to increase recycling of resources and local valorisation.
 

The challenge is to shift from an urban ‘grey box’, implying mainly goods importation and extra-urban waste management, to a cooperative organisation of intra- and peri-urban networks enabling circular local and decentralised valorisation of biowaste, through energy and bioproducts production. Such a new waste management paradigm is expected to increase the sustainability of urban development by:
 

  • promoting citizens awareness about waste costs and values;
  • promoting renewable energy production and use in the city;
  • developing an industrial ecology approach that can promote the integration between urban and peri-urban areas by providing valuable agronomic by-products for urban agriculture development and so improving the balance of organic products and waste in the city; and
  • developing new business opportunities and jobs.


To achieve these objectives, DECISIVE aimed to develop and demonstrate, on a real scale, eco-innovative solutions addressed to waste operators and public services, consisting of:
 

  • a decision support tool to plan, design and assess efficient decentralised management networks for biowaste in urban areas;
  • eco-designed solid state fermentation processes and, in parallel to real-scale demonstration sites, the development and testing of an eco-designed new micro-anaerobic digestion process.

Relevance for Circular Systemic Solutions

The project focused on developing new processes that allowed the treatment of municipal biowaste in the urban and peri-urban context, namely micro-scale anaerobic digestion units. This enabled the treatment of the biowaste production of district and solid state fermentation plants to produce valuable bioproducts out of the micro-scale anaerobic digestion’s (micro-AD) digestate.
 

The following may potentially be useful for local and regional authorities:
 

Main results and lessons learnt

In terms of new technologies, the project tested micro-AD units to offer inexpensive, easy-to-manage and flexible recovery of urban biowaste, and developed an eco-innovative solid state fermentation process: a process of biodegradation of solid organics into value products such as enzymes, biosurfactants or bioplastics to recover the digestate produced in micro-AD plants, thus giving more value to this digestate. Demonstrations in Dolina (IT) and Lyon (FR) enabled testing of the coupling of urban biowaste management with urban farming, and the intra-urban decentralised valorisation.
 

The project designed a methodology for the planning of decentralised biowaste management and a set of criteria for the selection of locations where the planning methodology could be applied. The project introduced a decision support tool dedicated to local authorities and environmental service companies, comprising a holistic method for designing a network of valorisation areas within the urban zone. In addition, the project developed communication and training material to inform and engage urban biowaste producers (households and commercial activities).

Horizon programme(s) and/or topic(s)

Programme:
 

  • H2020-EU.3.5. - SOCIETAL CHALLENGES - Climate action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials

Topic:
 

  • WASTE-6a-2015 - Eco-innovative solutions

Budget

€ 8 614 266.20 (EU contribution: € 7 755 101.56)

Responsible organisation and contact details

Institut national de recherche pour l'agriculture, l'alimentation et l'environnement

Contact the project.

Project consortium partners

  • Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona
  • Aarhus Universitet
  • Technische Universitat Hamburg
  • Fundacio Ent
  • Innovative Technological Systems SRL
  • Aeris Tecnologias Ambientales SL
  • Association of Cities and Regions for Sustainable Resource Management
  • Agencia de Residus de Catalunya
  • Psutec SPRL
  • Suez Groupe
  • Helmholtz-Zentrum für Ozeanforschung Kiel (Geomar)
  • Refarmers
  • A&T 2000 SPA
  • Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona
  • Aarhus Universitet
  • Technische Universitat Hamburg
  • Fundacio Ent
  • Innovative Technological Systems SRL
  • Aeris Tecnologias Ambientales SL
  • Association of Cities and Regions for Sustainable Resource Management
  • Agencia de Residus de Catalunya
  • Psutec SPRL
  • Suez Groupe
  • Refarmers
Sectors

Food (chain/systems)

CEAP2 key product value chain

Water

CEAP2 key product value chain

Nutrients

CEAP2 key product value chain

Agriculture

Bioeconomy

including bio-based economy

Waste management

Project type

Innovation action (IA)

Territories involved

Cities

large 500 000-200 000, medium 200 000-50 000, and small cities 50 000-5 000

Metropolitan areas

large metropolitan area >1.5 million, metropolitan area 1.5 million-500 000

Intra-territorial areas

Agricultural zones

Districts

e.g. commercial, residential, service, industrial