|August 2010 newsletter|
Miniwaste: bringing food and garden waste back to life
Miniwaste is a European project that aims to design, implement and assess an innovative and sustainable strategic plan to MINImise municipal organic WASTE in EU countries. This 3-year project (from mid 2010 to beginning 2013) involves five partners: Rennes Métropole (France), Lipor (Portugal), City of Brno (Czech Republic), ACR+ (European network), and Cemagref (Research center, France).
The main objective of the project is to demonstrate that it is possible to significantly reduce the amount of bio-waste at the source in an expert and sustainable way. In this effort, Rennes Métropole, Brno and Lipor will implement a number of good practices about bio-waste prevention in their area and will do so either as a pilot or on a larger scale, depending on their previous experience. Miniwaste also aims to develop and implement monitoring procedures (called "protocols") via computerized tools, in order to assess the quantity of composted waste and the quality of the compost produced, with regards to EU standards and to compare efficiency of different compost- bins. The expected results are ambitious, but they are in line with the bio-waste management challenges in Europe.
The Miniwaste project is co-financed by the component "Environmental policy and governance" of the European LIFE+ programme. LIFE+ (2007-2013) is the EU’s financial instrument supporting environmental and nature conservation projects throughout Europe, as well as in some candidate, acceding and neighbouring countries. Since 1992, the LIFE+ project has co-financed some 3115 projects, contributing approximately €2 billion to the protection of the environment. The total budget for Miniwaste amounts 2,289,402 € with a contribution of the EU of 1,126,626 €.
The project: successfully launched and on track
During the Miniwaste kick-off meeting in Rennes Métropole on 17-18 March 2010, the partners, along with bio-waste experts from Europe, held a workshop in order to start preparing the inventory of good practices and discussed the main elements of the project, and in particular what kind of computerised tool would aid in the implementation of sharing these good practices for treating bio-waste . A second workshop was held in Brussels on 27-28 May 2010, where the steering committee exchanged ideas about how the inventory should develop and how the computerised tool will actually work. During this second meeting, the partners also took the opportunity to visit several composting sites, in particular a demonstration site from the Comité Jean Pain, several demonstration sites with local composting guides in Londerzeel (Belgium), as well as at on-site and collective composting sites in various Belgian municipalities. In addition, the Miniwaste partners attended a training session on vermin-composting in Brussels.
Regarding the inventory, several good practices for bio-waste prevention have already been identified by ACR+ and validated by the partners, in particular a home composting case in Kent (United Kingdom), two community composting cases where one is in a Flemish Region (Belgium) and another one in Zürich (Switzerland), and two other cases in a Flemish Region: the first about smart gardening and otherabout re-use centres. Another set of cases is currently under review by the partners, based on the discussions held during the second meeting of the steering committee in May 2010. These three cases included produced case on proximity (farm) composting in Freistadt (Austria), home composting in the region of Piemont (Italy), and home, community and on-site composting in Chambéry (France). A third and final set of cases will be prepared this summer and will focus on home composting in Lipor and Brno and the fight against food waste (WRAP) in the United Kingdom.
The Miniwaste website has been online since the end of June. This website includes all the relevant information about the project and on bio-waste prevention spread out in three sections (the project, the partners and the good practices – coming soon). The website is accessible in four languages: English, French, Czech and Portuguese. News from all partners about the project and their activities related to bio-waste prevention is also being published where users may even comment on the items and provide the project partners feedback on the developments of the project – feel free to have a look and submit your ideas now! Lastly on the website there are pictures and documents for other reference material, as well as a repository for all issues of the newsletter (only one so far since we’ve just sent the first issue!).
Focus on a partner: ACR+
What is ACR+?
ACR+ stands for "Association of Cities and Regions for Recycling and sustainable Resource management". It is an international network of nearly 100 members, mainly local and regional authorities, who aim to promote the sustainable consumption of resources and management of waste through prevention at source, reuse and recycling.
ACR+ concrete role in Miniwaste
ACR+ has the responsibility to provide an inventory of good practices related to bio-waste prevention inside and outside the partnership. This inventory is planned to be finalised in September 2010 and should be made available to the partners very soon. On this basis, the partners will implement demonstration actions to concretely reduce bio-waste.
ACR+ also acts as webmaster for the Miniwaste website, in collaboration with Rennes Métropole. This task includes the production of general content for the website and updating this content when needed. Together with its partners, ACR+ has to provide news updates about the project and the partners, for which anyone interested can leave a comment, so feel free to give us your feedback!
Finally, ACR+ is in charge of information dissemination through regular mailing to the partnerscontacts, including the ACR+ contacts network. It will also issue regular press releases and articles to European and local media, as well as in its own newsletters, the Warmer Bulletin and the ACR+ newsline - so there are plenty of sources to get information about Miniwaste!
Miniwaste from ACR+'s point of view
According to Olivier De Clercq, Secretary General of the ACR+ and project manager, Miniwaste is in complete line with the objectives of the European Waste Framework Directive (Directive 2008/98/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 November 2008). This Directive sets waste prevention as the top priority in terms of waste management and the project should help the Member States to prepare the waste prevention programmes they must establish by the end of 2013 (article 29 of the Directive), by providing concrete solutions and best practices in terms of bio-waste reduction for local and regional authorities in Europe. The results of the project could also be valuable for the European Commission when it will develop the guidelines to help Member States drafting their waste prevention programmes.
Olivier De Clercq also underlines that Miniwaste is in line with previous activities implemented by ACR+, such as the "- 100 kg" campaign for waste reduction and the projects involving bio-waste clusters working groups. These previous activities provided ACR+ with the expertise in bio-waste prevention good practices as well as in the quantification of waste prevention's impact. The tricky question, highlights Mr De Clercq, is how can we measure something that we are avoiding? Miniwaste will provide an answer for bio-waste.
With the financial support of the LIFE+ Programme of the European Commission