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Unlocking the potential of urban organic waste


Catalogue proven and emerging innovations in the collection, processing and use of organic urban waste and sewage sludge, and on that basis identify potential new value chains. Create and support a platform of regional, municipal and local stakeholders, including public authorities, civil society, and industry (the waste management industry, as well as industries that produce organic waste and those that may have an interest using such waste as a resource). Identify technological and regulatory barriers that hinder the use of more biodegradable waste as raw material for higher value bio-based products, and carry out targeted research that would help to address specific barriers. Such research could contribute to the generation of information required for the development of end-of-waste criteria for urban organic waste.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Waste production, processing and disposal are increasing challenges for urban areas. In this context, local biorefineries can use waste from surrounding industries and municipalities in a symbiotic manner. Today, there are very few examples of facilities that can convert the biodegradable fraction of municipal solid waste and sewage sludge into anything other than compost and energy. Further innovations in urban waste management schemes could contribute to better collection and processing of waste for the production of higher value bio-based products, including for example bio-based chemicals and bio-plastics.

To enable the creation of new value chains for higher value purposes other than just for compost or energy, proposals will have to show how to:

  • Contribute to new developments in strategy and policy at regional and local level for the innovative use of urban organic waste.
  • Boost investments in the local and regional economy supporting sustainable growth, development and employment;
  • Facilitate the exchange of information and sharing of experiences among local and regional bioeconomy stakeholders on the production of bio-based products from urban organic waste. In particular, provide inputs to tackle related regulatory gaps and obstacles.