The Biocircularcities project aims to improve local circular bioeconomy strategies in three pilot territories. It consists in making a better use of bio-based losses and waste, by reducing them in the first place, and then optimising their collection and recovery to turn them in valuable bio-based products.

As it would be ambitious to study in details all the existing sectors dealing (i.e., producing or managing) with biowaste on their territory, each of the three pilots identified one specific biowaste chain to analyse more in details. This chain is not only representative of the territory but also corresponding to a biowaste stream that is currently either under-exploited or having the potential to be valorised in an innovative way and with a high added value, in line with the principles of circular bioeconomy and the waste hierarchy.

Interviews with local partners and feedback from stakeholders led to the identification of the following biowaste chains to be studied:

  • Metropolitan Area of Barcelona: biowaste from the municipal solid waste
  • Metropolitan City of Naples: biowaste from agro-industrial chain
  • Province of Pazardzhik: biowaste from the agro-forestry sector (both forestry residues and wood processing waste)

The pilot territories also identified current strategies for biowaste prevention or other circular patterns (if any) to draw Business as Usual scenarios.

This work has been conducted in collaboration with local stakeholders who shared constructive feedback during so-called Living Labs. A summary of the first meetings is available for the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona, the Metropolitan City of Naples and the Pazardzhik Region.

Building on the inputs received, alternative scenarios to improve the management of the selected biowaste chains in line with circular bioeconomy have been suggested for each pilot.

In the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona, prevention measures to reduce biowaste generation and alternative separate collections (smart bins or door to door instead of open containers) to incentivise quality and quantity of biowaste separately collected will be explored. Moreover, the feasibility of producing added value bioproducts such as biosolvents or biomethane to inject in the grid or to use as alternative fuel for transportation will be explored.

The alternative scenario of the Metropolitan City of Naples foresees the introduction of an innovative conversion process to produce added value products such as bioplastics, bio-chemicals, pharmaceutical and nutraceutical bioproducts.

The Pazardzhik Region decided to focus on energy recovery (e.g. Combined Heat and Power plant) or/and the lignocellulosic valorisation (e.g. biochemicals) of the unexploited biowaste from forestry sectors. This scenario should contribute to incentivise a larger deployment of circular bioeconomy in a Region where 55% of the land is occupied by forests.

The work carried out by the three pilots to map the biowaste chains to study will be summarised in a report on “State of the art of biowaste production and management in the pilot areas”, to be published on the Biocircularcities website.

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