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A DECentralIzed management Scheme for Innovative Valorization of urban biowastE

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - DECISIVE (A DECentralIzed management Scheme for Innovative Valorization of urban biowastE)

Reporting period: 2018-03-01 to 2019-08-31

The growing attractiveness of cities leads in increasing population and rising energetic and food demands in urban areas and makes urban waste management increasingly challenging, both in terms of logistics and environmental or health impacts. To decrease the cities’ impacts and to contribute to a better resilience of urban areas, waste management systems have to be improved to increase prevention and local valorization. In this context, the DECISIVE project proposes to change the present urban metabolism for organic matter, energy and biowaste to tend to a more circular economy and to assess the impacts of these changes on the whole waste management cycle. In this objective DECISIVE project offers to demonstrate the ability to decrease the generation of urban waste flows (from household or assimilated) and increase recycling and recovery by focusing efforts on decentralised management and valorization of the biowaste, through anaerobic digestion (AD) and solid-state fermentation (SSF) within the urban and peri-urban areas in relation with urban and peri-urban agriculture. To reach this objective, the project targets two major advances. The first one is an organizational advance with the proposal of a new management strategy for urban biowaste (DECISIVE system), based on local micro-scale systems and circular thinking for valorization, forming the ground-breaking concept of network of urban decentralised valorization sites. The second one concerns technologies with the development of eco-efficient micro-scale biological processes: micro-anaerobic digestion (mAD) and SSF. This will lead to develop three main products: a decision support tool to plan efficient and locally adapted decentralised management schemes for urban biowaste; a new mAD process; a new SSF process.
From the beginning of the project the objectives were to validate the concept of decentralised management for urban biowaste and to demonstrate it locally. The first period focused mainly on the first objective and prepared the entire basis to be able then to begin demonstration implementation. During the second reporting period the DECISIVE project mainly focused on the finalisation of the Decision support tool (DSTV1) and on the preparation of the demonstrations but also continued the work on concept validation especially through data gathering and organization for Life Cycle Inventories (LCI). The main results achieved up to now are described below:
• Assessment of the DECISIVE concept sustainability
The work on the concept assessment progressed a lot especially with the design of life cycle inventories, the decision of sustainability indicators to be included in the DST and a network analysis achievement. Moreover a numerical method to plan the spatial organisation of the decentralised treatment network on an urban area has been developed. It uses conjointly geographical inventories of biowaste production, urban and peri-urban farms, etc. and a mixed integer linear program for optimisation.
• DST development
A first version of the DST has been developed and delivered to be used freely through a web-interface. This DST is now being tested to assess the decentralised management applicability to 10 cities in Europe. Moreover feedback is expected from users outside of the DECISIVE consortium.
• Processes development
Process development knew a real progress during this period with the design of pilots for both the new dry mAD process and the SSF process. First performance results have been obtained and delivered and the processes will continue to be tested and improved up to the end of the project.
• Demonstration site preparation
During period P2 the project really entered the demonstration step with the concrete organization on the chosen sites. The implementation of a mAD demonstration on the site initially forecasted in Catalonia had to be abandoned (difficulties with University) and the final real demonstration sites for the project have been confirmed as follows: the LYON demonstration site in France and the DOLINA demonstration site in Italy. In the first case, the demonstration has already been implemented by setting up AD pilot on the Lyon urban farm exploited by reFARMERS in the close surrounding of Lyon. The demonstration is now starting. In the second case, AD device has been chosen and will be set up by mid-2020 in the urban area of Dolina. This area is located far from centralized waste management facilities and its waste management is led by A&T2000, who will operate the demonstration. In addition to these two real demonstration sites, and in order to benefit from the work developed in Catalonia by ARC to study the possibilities to implement a demonstration on the UAB Campus (near Barcelona), it has been decided to test there the waste prevention effect due to the implementation of a decentralised treatment (community composting) and linked communication. Finally, a test study of new collection system will be performed in Lübeck by TUHH.
• Data collection for the assessment of the concept benefits and impacts
Data collection is on-going and exchanges among partners and especially on the demonstration sites are planned for the following months in order to gather technical, environmental, economic and social data to complete LCI and assessment databases.
The DECISIVE project is expected to improve the state of the art of waste management in urban and peri-urban areas. The new local biowaste management system created is also expected to decrease the global urban residual waste production, improve the biowaste capture rate and increase the energy recovery from waste by promoting local production. By the way, DECISIVE will participate to reduce gaseous emissions. Moreover an important socio-economic impact is expected from the project through the creation of new local business for waste management and the development of urban farms. Technical innovations are also awaited to be brought to the market that will help development of industrial business. Finally, the demonstration of the DECISIVE system will be used to advise the European waste-related legislation. At this stage of the project, the DSTV1 (decision support tool) is now available to be used freely by web access. This tool proposes to quantify the impacts of a decentralised management of biowaste in urban areas by using the DECISIVE concept in comparison with current centralised treatments. It will thus assess the ability of an alternative biowaste management option to bring benefits to the society. Such tool can help municipalities in establishing their strategies for biowaste valorization. Moreover a lot of data on biowaste characterization but also on collection models have been gathered and organized in libraries which represent a great progress of knowledge. On a technical point of view, the development of a mAD process and a SSF process has progressed a lot with pilots in operation. This will give data for exploitation and potential roadmap to the market. Finally demonstration preparation and starting in the case of Lyon already gives clues for establishing future assessment of the decentralised management of urban biowaste looking at waste prevention impact, economic, environmental and social assessment.
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