Human life is urban life
More than half the world’s population now lives in an urban area. It’s understandable – cities offer more jobs and better entertainment. But it also means our urban areas are struggling to provide food and energy sustainably. We can’t continue using fossil fuel resources for transport and packaging to support increasing urban populations. So what are the alternatives?
Decisive is an R&D project run by a consortium including Refarmers. The project aims to recycle urban biowaste into local energy and products that can be reused in urban & suburban farms.
Waste: problem or potential?
Biowaste treatment has enormous potential for helping cities become sustainable and resilient. In Europe, organic waste makes up between 14 and 47% of a municipality’s total waste by mass. So dealing with this waste at source, in the city or town that produced it, makes really good sense.
But organic waste can be messy, smelly stuff, and working with it in a densely populated area comes with a range of problems. That’s where DECISIVE comes in.
Thinking in circles
Funded by the Horizon 2020 programme of European Union, DECISIVE is developing new technologies to treat biowaste. The process will produce biogas for energy production (through micro-scale anaerobic digestion), plus a residue called digestate. And the aim is for the digestate to be converted into useful products such as biopesticides and hydroponic & soil fertiliser. Which can then be used to grow more food in urban farms. That’s circular farming in action!
But importantly, the project is also creating tools for organisations working with organic waste. These tools will make it easier to set up biowaste treatment networks in urban areas, and to involve the producers of urban biowaste – ordinary city residents, shopkeepers and business owners – in creating smart cities.
DECISIVE demonstrations will be run at REFARMERS pilot-farm and the UAB campus (Autonomous University of Barcelona), from Spring 2019 to Summer 2020.
REFARMERS is conducting experiments on anaerobic digestate as hydroponic & soil fertilizers.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement N° 689229