Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Small to medium-sized enterprises get waste disposal boost

Researchers have given small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that handle small amounts of organic waste new ways to make better use of it, or dispose of it more efficiently and hygienically.
Small to medium-sized enterprises get waste disposal boost
Restaurants, hotels, markets, fisheries and other small to medium-size agro-food enterprises manage 239 million tonnes of organic waste in Europe per year. The specific management of such waste according to EU regulations involves costly treatments and potential hygiene issues on site.

The EU-funded ORION (Organic waste management by a small-scale innovative automated system of anaerobic digestion) initiative worked to help SMEs manage their organic waste by themselves in order to decrease treatment costs and improve hygiene. The researchers targeted the use of organic waste as biomass to produce energy and increase SME autonomy and profitability.

ORION worked with various SMEs to develop new solutions to dispose of organic waste. Other research objectives included the development of an anaerobic digestion bioreactor that could reduce SME operating costs.

The researchers developed a training strategy to address a vast community of SMEs and offer them a personalised service. With these strategies, ORION aimed to help implement EU policies on waste management and renewable energy production.

ORION delivered various developments that will aid SMEs in disposing organic waste and making better use of it. Such developments include antibacterial treatments for bioreactors, to reduce biofilm build-up on crucial elements within a bioreactor.

These results will help SMEs to acquire their own waste treatment plant that will combine waste treatment and energy production. This will increase their know-how in terms of waste recovery and help businesses remain sustainable and profitable.

Related information


Organic waste, agro-food enterprises, ORION, waste management, anaerobic digestion
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