The European project VALUEWASTE organised an exchange trip gathering stakeholders and policy makers of the Murcia Region in Spain to visit the biowaste collection experience carried out in Kalundborg.
On May 31, 2022, the municipality of Kalundborg and Kalundborg Symbiosis welcomed local representatives and policy makers form the city of Murcia, Spain, and guests from Savonia University of Applied Sciences, Finland, to visit and learn from the selective collection and valorisation of urban biowaste carried out in the area. The main participants from the Murcia delegation represented the Murcia City Hall, AEMA, Ceutí City Hall / Parents for Future, Business association of labor and investee societies of the Murcia Region, Local Energy and Climate Change Agency Murcia, Association of environmental companies of the Region of Murcia and Región Murcia Limpia.
The program of the visit consisted of a series of informative and encouraging presentations on the topic made by spokepersons from Kalundborg Symbiosis, Kalundborg Municipality, ARGO, and Gemidan, followed by a visit to the facilities of the companies UNIBIO and ARGO.
In total, ARGO, a Kalundborg Symbiosis member, receives waste from recycling stations in nine municipalities. Recyclable waste, which is 80%, is sorted into fractions and subsequently disposed of to the recycling industry, and the remaining 20% is used for energy production.
The company Gemidan works on the pre-treatment of organic wastes for the municipality of Kalundborg with its Gemidan Ecogi technology. The Gemidan Ecogi pre-treatment system combines depackaging and pre-treatment system; it accepts any type of food packaging. Once in the system, the Ecogi technology depackages food wastes and separates plastics, digests the organic wastes, and produces clean quality bio-pulp as a result, which is excellent for biogas production. As a reference, the system can process up to 10/13 ton of organic waste per hour (250 ton/day), and it can handle up to 20% of contamination in the wastes (that is, waste bags with materials or wastes that should not be there). Currently, 4 Ecogi plants are operative in Denmark, and overall, the plants are low cost in maintenance and expected to last in the long term.
In this context, UNIBIO is prominent in the group for its innovative technologies for protein production, which convert methane from any source into a highly concentrated protein raw material used as ingredients in feed. Within the VALUEWASTE project, UNIBIO´s role focuses in this area, integrating the production of protein ingredients from methanotrophic bacteria into the VALUEWASTE valorisation lines & technologies.
All in all, the representative organisations from Murcia got a clear view of how the waste management schemes in Kalundborg worked, taking back home valuable lessons for the municipality and the VALUEWASTE project.
"We have learnt a lot in this mission, I hope we can maybe replicate some of them back in Murcia", said Enrique Luna Ruiz-Cabello, Director of Technical Services and Projects, "Business association of labor and investee societies of the Murcia Region" AMUSAL.
The VALUEWASTE project started back in 2018, gathers 17 partners from 5 EU countries and, after almost 4 years, it is now reaching to its end in October 2022. The goal of the project is to foster the adoption of circular valorisation schemes for urban biowaste in cities across Europe. To keep up collaboration and experiences exchange, VALUEWASTE will foster a second exchange visit next September 2022, in this occasion in Murcia, Spain hosted by the Murcia City Hall where Kalundborg Municipality, Kalundborg Symbiosis and other stakeholders will be invited.
This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No. 818312.