Hub of Circular Cities Boosting Platform to Foster Investments for the Valorisation of Urban Biowaste and Wastewater

The EU member states produce between 118-138 million tons of municipal biowaste yearly*. Of this biowaste, only 40 % is recycled, starkly portraying the necessity as well as opportunity for advancing and innovating the EU biowaste management system.

Biowaste, which is any waste of organic matter such as manure, sawdust or food craps, is the single largest fraction of the municipal waste generated each year in the EU. Most of this biowaste still ends up in landfill or is incinerated, wasting valuable resources. Existing circular solutions like composting, digestate or biogas production show that more circular alternatives are already possible. Moreover, the potential of bio-waste recovery goes much further. To enable this kind of large-scale bioeconomy within the EU, processes and systems need to be redesigned, tested and eventually scaled up. The HOOP project aims to do just that by unlocking bio-based investments through a systemic and cross-cutting approach and deploying local bioeconomies in Europe. Novel biowaste valorisation routes and value chains will be created and tested in 8 circular city hubs, the so-called lighthouses, across Europe.

The cities and regions are Bergen (Norway), Kuopio (Finland), Almere (Netherlands), Münster (Germany), Albano Laziale (Italy), Kozani in Western Macedonia (Greece), Murcia (Spain), and Porto (Portugal). New technical solutions in these cities and regions will be applied, learnings exchanged, and findings disseminated for follower cities and regions.

Considering that these lighthouses have a unique cultural background and their own specificities in terms of legal, socio-economic, environmental and geographical aspects, it is crucial to adequately engage all relevant stakeholders. The CSCP takes on this central role by leading the work package on stakeholder engagement.

Engaging stakeholders in all relevant fields, from public bodies to private companies along the value chains and also including all relevant actors in society is the core of CSCP’s work within HOOP. By setting up so-called Biowaste Clubs – the main tool for stakeholder engagement – the CSCP, lighthouses and other partners will work in a central, yet flexible structural approach to involve the right actors for activities conducted during the project. Even though the CSCP coordinates the set-up and running of the Biowaste Clubs, ownership will be given to local partners and stakeholders enabling them to form approaches based on the needs and experiences in each lighthouse. The concept of the biowaste club as an impactful format for stakeholder engagement is explained in this video.

Additionally, the work package on stakeholder engagement also aims at fostering knowledge and behavior changes in stakeholders and consumers ( such as, better separation or higher acceptance of bio-based products) concerning the processing, development and implementation of the new value chains and the usage of created bio-based products.

The HOOP project is built upon and in close exchange with its three sister projects, SCALIBUR, ValueWaste and WaystUP. The CSCP builds the HOOP stakeholder engagement activities on vast experiences gained within the SCALIBUR project.

HOOP is a project funded under the European Union’s research programme Horizon 2020 and will run for four years (2020-2024). The consortium consists of 23 partners across Europe.

*European Compost Network 2019