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SCOW Project - Selective collection of the organic waste in tourist areas and valorisation in farm composting plants

30 November, 2014

SCOW (Selective Collection of the Organic Waste in tourist areas and valorisation in farm composting plants), is a 3-year European project (2013-2015) funded by the ENPI

CBCMED Programme, aiming to develop low cost, technically simple and high quality biowaste collection and recycling models in territories with touristic areas and agricultural activity. SCOW’s goal is to define an innovative and sustainable biowaste management system through effective collection and waste treatment into decentralized small-scale composting plants, located near biowaste generation sites, and, at the same time, where the compost can be applied. New collection schemes and decentralized small-scale composting facilities will be implemented in Catalonia (Spain), Corsica(France), Province of Genoa (Italy), Upper Galilee (Israel), West Bank (Palestine) and Malta, by the partners: Urban Ecology Agency of Barcelona (lead partner from Spain), Development Agency Gal Genovese (Italy), Local Councils’ Association (Malta), House of Water and Environment (Palestine), Upper Galilee Regional Council (Israel), SYVADEC (France), with the help of the partners MIGAL (Israel) and Environment Park (Italy). The SCOW project have five associates structures: ACR+ (Association of Cities and Regions for Recycling and Sustainable Resource Management), ARC (Waste Agency of Catalonia), the Rabat SaléZemmourZaer Region, the DjerbaHoumt Souk Municipality and KEPA (Business and Cultural Development Centre). Their role is to diffuse the project results and to share best practices in the fields of biowaste management in the Mediterranean countries.

2. Methodology and results

2.1 – Location of the project

The implementation of a quality separate collection scheme of the organic waste will be realized, particularly in tourist areas of the Mediterranean countries, which combine economic development of the service sector with an importance on agricultural activity.

The treatment of the organic material will be done in technologically simple small-scale composting plants, located near urban centres or tourist areas. The project is focused in the following territories:

- Palestinian Authority: The Jericho municipality (Center and East of West

Bank/Jordan Valley) has a number of touristic attractions in addition to the nearby agricultural lands in the Jordan Valley. Al-Ettihad Municipality and Ramallah(central West Bank) being the second and the de facto administrative capital of the State of Palestine.

- Israel: Upper & Eastern Galilee is the major tourist region. In the Upper Galilee

Regional Council, there are 29 farming Settlements ("Kibbutes") with 17.000 inhabitants, with 29 large scale agriculture farms, approximately a few hundred tourist businesses and 31 business of the industry sector. The project will be focused on the settlements of Gonen, Kfar Giladi, Kfar Hanasi, Amiad.

- Malta: Malta is a popular tourist destination and welcomes more than one million tourists per year. Agriculture is a relevant activity and a large amount of the territory of the islands consists of fields and farms. The project will probably be located in the north of Malta.

- Italy: The Province of Genoa, in Liguria, is composed by the municipality of Genoa, a touristic city, the coastal area with 16 municipalities and hinterland with

51 municipalities. In the Province there are 1.030 farms that operate in different sectors of agriculture. The project will be mainly located in 3 municipalities of the

Province of Genoa: Ne, SestriLevante, Genova-MunicipoLevante and in some other municipalities with agro-touristic farms of the zone.

- France: The Corsican territory is an unusual mix of tourist and agricultural areas. In

Corsica, there are farms all over the island and quality agriculture has been developed. The project will be located in the area of Corte (North Corsica), one of the biggest towns of the Corsican hinterland.

- Spain: In the Catalonian territory, it has been detected that 16 zones from different regions are suitable for the development of local composting in small plants, due to their organic fraction production and their rural features. In these zones, there is a significant country tourism as well as beach tourism in the shore locations. The project will be located in PallarsSobirà, a county in the Catalan East Pyrenees. 2.2 – Methodology

2.2.1 Initial activities and previous studies

The project methodology is based on a first comprehensive study of the characteristics and agents as well as the existing waste management of the areas where partners will develop the project. In parallel, the general project management model has been defined based on an initial study of the state of the art in biowaste management and small scale composting plants that also results in the creation of a best-practises database.

Additionally some alternative systems base on more decentralised facilities have been also selected to cover the specific needs of some partners according to the territorial, planning, etc., constrains. Finally, different guidelines, protocols and facility management handbook for the model implementation have been created to facilitate the introduction and operation of the collection systems and treatment facilities.

2.2.2 The SCOW biowaste management model

The SCOW project’s objectives look to promote a co-management of biowaste from tourist areas with another biowaste flows from rural areas, like manures or vegetable wastes when is possible. The complementarities of the different biowastes can provide lots of advantages to the biological processes, improving its efficiency (economical and material assessments), producing higher quality compost and even contributing to the economic activity of the area and/or of the farms in case they develop directly the treatment. The main objective in the project is to provide the tools, capacity and knowledge to transform the biowaste into a resource, a final compost to be applied in the soils, not considering it as a waste or garbage that must be disposed of. To reach this objective, the following basic points should be kept in mind:

- Flexibility: initially the facility should be prepared to treat different kind of

biowastes as well as to manage different quantities according to the seasonal waste production of the zone.

- Decentralised - small-size facilities - efficiency: reduce transportation costs and increase the manageability.

- Know-how of the composting process: operators have to know and understand the biological process of the degradation of the organic matter under aerobic conditions. It will reduce the risks of problems in the facility.

- Simple management/technology: the site should be easily adapted to the conditions, characteristics and needs of the biowaste to be composted. Besides the simplicity of the facility allows different kind of managers to make the process works properly, including the local farmers or other agents from waste/local sector.

- Quality of the biowaste – separate collection: to have an efficient, simple and small-size composting facility, the collected biowaste have to enter with a very low content (< 2%) of impurities or non-organic materials (glass, plastics, metals, etc.). To ensure this requirement, the source separate collection of the household biowaste, as well as from big producers like hotels, restaurants, fresh markets, etc. have to be implemented, specially focused on door-to-door schemes that facilitate the capture of material with the needed quality. The basic SCOW model would be a facility with turning windrows for the fermentation stage of the composting process, combined with a maturation stage also in windrows or in table heaps depending of the characteristics of the area: availability of space, climatology, etc. These windrows will be covered with semi-permeable canvas to keep the optimal process conditions for longer. Adaptation of the model to each case

In the Mediterranean Basin there are areas with very different conditions: weather, target biowaste (non-organic impurities, composition, availability of complementary materials and bulking), diverse needs/uses of the compost, different waste regulations/planning (national and local). Those differences and circumstances oblige the project and each partner to adapt the model (collection and treatment) to each case:

• Decentralized composting: for the projects in Liguria, Corsica and Malta, mainly due to the characteristics of the mountainous region (Liguria and Corsica) and dispersed municipalities and producers, as well as because of the national and local legislation/planning. In Malta, 1 electromechanical composter will be implemented, whereas in Corsica and in Liguria, electromechanical plants as well as composting modules (for big producers or household community use) will be installed.

• Windrows and table heap composting: for the projects in the West Bank (Palestine).

Different sources of biowaste, cattle manure and agricultural wastes are available.

• Yard with forced aeration: for the project in Catalonia, in a rural area with many disperse villages in the same mountain valley, where regional regulations opt for forced aeration systems.

• Drum composting: for the project in Upper Galilee, where there will be small owndesign composting facilities inside the kibbutz, so the minimization of the environmental affections, the lack of bulking/complementary material and the adaptation to the weather conditions are a must.

The project was strongly focused in the role of farmers as facility managers and compost users. The project has found some limitations and constrains to involve this sector directly in the foodwaste management because of the legal and existent management context in some countries. In this framework, for some partners the management of the collection and facilities will be developed by the local authorities as they are the natural responsible for these services. Anyhow, in almost all the cases the farmers will be entailed as final users of the compost produced in the facilities(application in agricultural soils as a soil amendment or fertilizer). Additionally, it should be taken into account that almost all the facilities will be implemented in rural areas.

 

 

 

 

 

2.2.3 Monitoring activities

The project foresees several monitoring activities and evaluation of the results of eachmanagement model for comparison, sharing and dissemination. The monitoring activitywill concern mainly the operations of biowaste collection and composting processes.

The main objectives of this activity are to monitor the collection sevices in terms ofresults and quality, the composting plants functioning and the produced compost as wellas to finally calculate the result indicators of the project. The main parameters tomonitor for the composting process will be the quantities and features of treatedentrance flows and the following main parameters to check that the process is runningproperly: temperature, pH, O2/CO2, and moisture. Additionally the composition, qualityand destination of the final compost will be reported (by means of a lab analysis). Inorder to facilitate the follow-up of the process from the beginning to the end, an onlinestandard monitoring form has been implemented including and reporting all the facilitymonitoring elements and indicators of the project. The main data will be reported on a

WEBGIS system, with a geo-localization of the different plants, a description sheet andthe monitoring data related to each plant. This system will permit to visualize on aninteractive map all the data of the different models/plants as well as compare the resultsand indicators. 2.2.4 Main outputs of the project

The main outputs of the project are the following:

- Database of Good Practices (similar management models/facilities)

- Technical study of the key elements and management options

- Guidelines defining the SCOW management model and monitoring protocols

- Handbook on small-scale composting facilities management

- Final Vademecum

- Database with the result indicators of the implemented management models

- Edition of training materials and stakeholders’ infopacks

- Mediterranean Compost Network targeted to biowaste managers and small-scalecomposting plants

- Policy recommendations on the future biowaste regulatory framework

Some of them are already available on the SCOW project website:

http://www.biowaste-scow.eu/

 

2.2.5 Dissemination and capitalisation

In order to reinforce the results of the project and its dissemination, various lobbyingactivities are planned: organizing capitalization events, activation of links with othernetworks and events on related projects/topics, strengthening cooperation with partnerinstitutions and others in waste sector. This set of activities will be complementary tothe communication activities developed in the work package dedicated tocommunication: webpage (www.biowaste-scow.eu), newsletter, social media, etc.

Besides one of the main purposes of the project is the establishment of a Mediterraneannetwork on composting for knowledge transfer, involving managers and experts ofmanagement models similar to SCOW.

3. Conclusion

The project focuses on demonstrating cost-effective solutions for the management ofbiowaste to obtain high quality compost and the results comparison of differenttechnologies/models. The experience could be replicated in other Mediterranean areasreducing the impacts at source with a separate collection (focuses on the largeproducers, but also on domestic producers) and treatment (technologically simpleplants) of biowaste, introducing the idea of self-sufficiency and closure of the organicmatter cycle. The project contributes to the overall sustainability of the area, in terms ofwaste management and recycling, economy (creating new waste management jobopportunities and industry), and organization, while at the same time, it can strengthenthe competitiveness of the territories. One of the main challenges of the Mediterranean

Basin is the waste management and particularly of the biowaste (the most generatedstream especially in the southern countries of the basin). With the correct managementof this flow, environmental impacts that affect the Mediterranean Basin, likedesertification (applying quality compost to the soils), global warming (avoiding theentrance of biodegradable materials to landfills) and landfilling capacity needs(reducing the waste entrance), could be greatly reduced

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