How can we effectively recover and reuse organic waste in the city?

Key opportunity areas emerge from a month-long crowdsourcing initiative on Circle Lab

1 | If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it

A lot of the value in any type of waste stream relies on our ability to measure it. What if we had an app for trash? Connecting our consumption patterns to Internet of Things-enabled devices, for instance, might help us reduce our waste on a personal level, while on an industrial level linking waste to data directly translates to fluctuations in profit margins.

How might we use technology to incentivise waste collection and processing?

Smart Trash Bins

Based on a submission by Laura Scherer

Xianhuangguo (XHG) System installed in communities. Source: WEF

Link waste data to profit loss

Based on a submission by Fadli Mustamin

2 | Build, measure, learn, repeat

Success stories in closing nutrient loops often operate in silos, distinct from the broader system within which they operate. The fragmented nature of the value chain often contributes to preventing the successful scaling of these initiatives, but they do exist, and we stand a lot to gain from leveraging their insights and replicating their successes.

How might we learn from, replicate, and scale exist- ing lighthouse projects in similar European cities?

De Ceuvel

Based on a submission by Fadli Mustamin

Source: De Ceuvel

Replicating successful European projects

“TRiFOCAL is a three-year project funded by the LIFE program of the European Commission, which aims to incentivise sustainability in the 3 key food behaviours: food consumption, food wastage and food waste recycling. They now aim to work with at least 10 EU replication cities who will feed into the project development and act as ambassadors of the TRiFOCAL project in their countries, and have already piloted their replication programme with 8 European cities.” — Ludovica Viva

3 | Festivals with a double agenda

How might we use Amsterdam’s festival scene as a testing ground to mimic a closed loop city?

Compost toilets

Bread to beer

Instock’s Bammetjes Beer made from leftover breads in Amsterdam! Source: Instock

4 | Food literacy

So much of the food loss we incur can easily be prevented through the reevaluation of quality standards at the industrial level, which can often “reject food items not perfect in shape or appearance”; and at the consumer level; through increasing cooking and meal planning literacy and through tackling common misconceptions and stereotypes around food.

How might we educate and shift mindsets in order to reduce food waste at the consumer and industrial levels?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Based on a submission by Nikolett Madai

Source: Ugly Produce Is Beautiful

Self sufficiency

5 | It’s all about the delivery

Some pockets of communities in Amsterdam have access to Worm Hotels or their own composting heaps. One of the key obstacles in community Worm Hotels is the pre-processing and maintenance necessary to keep the worms happy. When we understand the end market of our waste, however, we are better able to sort and process the materials in order to make them easier to process.

How might we regulate bio waste to make it fit for new and existing solutions?

Vermicomposting and Fly Composting

“Using worms and Black Soldier Flies to compost organic waste has seen successful in many cases. The input of the organic waste does have to fit certain constraints, as worms are sensitive towards diet, moisture and heat levels in their environment. ” — Richa Prasad, Vanessa Leslie Bolivar Paypay

Cascade the waste

“Depending on the quality of the waste stream it should be used in a cascading way to optimise the use of the bio-resources according to the biomass cascade. As the waste hierarchy, the biomass cascade tries to retain as much value as possible in the material.” — Ludovica Viva

Peel Pioneers Citrus Waste

Source: PeelPioneers

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