WASTE4THINK: Halandri Pioneer in Alternative Waste Management – Information Workshop

The Waste4Think, a leading European project that brings Halandri to the forefront of innovative technologies around the world for alternative waste management, is presented by the Municipality of Halandri at a workshop organized on 14 February in collaboration with the Association for the Sustainable Development of Cities at a working meeting with the European partners of the project from 13th to 16th of February 2018.

This is an innovative initiative for the collection and recovery of household food waste, in line with the local waste management plan of the city, which was launched in Chalandri in December 2016 (with the participation of around 250 households), and after the success of this first phase will be gradually generalized throughout the city. During the regular six-month meeting held in February, the project partners from all European cities participating in it will present the conclusions from the first phase of implementation as well as the innovative technologies used in Halandri while discussing the planning of the next phase .

Household Waste Management in Halandri: From food waste to alternative energy

The municipal fertilizer collection program is a result of the collaboration of the Municipality of Halandri with the National Technical University of Athens under the European Waste4Think project, HORIZON 2020. This project, with a total budget of € 10,500,000, involves 19 partners (universities, local authorities, public bodies, businesses, etc.) from seven EU Member States. Different cases of utilization and management of household waste in four European cities (Halandri, Cascais Portugal, Zamudio Spain, Seveso Italy) are being examined under the program. It is worth noting that the unified proposal of the 19 partners for Waste4Think has been evaluated by the relevant EU Commission. as one of the three best among the 97 projects presented and financed.

In the Municipality of Halandri, the implementation of the pilot project, with a budget of € 455,250, has as main objectives the use of alternative ways of collecting and managing domestic fermentable waste, as well as the optimal dissemination of the program to the local community.

What is domestic fermentable waste?

Domestic fermentable waste is kitchen waste, ie: cooked food (except bones), fruit, vegetables and used kitchen paper.

First phase of implementation – the program in practice

Waste4Think looks at innovative solutions in the field of waste management. Halandri is dealing with the management of food waste, which accounts for a large proportion of solid waste for which no recycling was previously possible.

The residents of Halandri who participate voluntarily in the program instead of throwing household fermentable waste into the green bins (mixed), they separate it using the equipment that the municipality has freely allocated to them.

They collect these garbage in a 30-liter individual household coffee bucket, in special biodegradable bags made of fermentable organic materials. They then place only those bags in 120-liter brown bins, which – at this stage – are padlocked (to be handled only by the participants in the program). The collection of the material is done by the cleaning service twice a week with a special waste truck.

This material is transformed by drying and shredding into an exploitable biomass product, “FORBI” (Food Residue Biomass), which is energy-rich while its weight is equal to 1/5 of the weight of the waste from which it is produced – which means that even its transport costs are significantly lower. FORBI can then be used either as a fuel in the cement industry or after processing as a solid fuel for pellet, as a biofuel gas (biogas) or a mixture of hydrogen and methane to drive vehicles – this application will be a direct future for municipal waste – as a liquid fuel (bioethanol) to be added to gasoline, as a compost, as a feed or for the production of activated charcoal for liquid waste. All these solutions are considered in the project to make it the most economically and economically advantageous.

After about one year of pilot implementation, the results are particularly encouraging as there has already been a decline in the volume of landfill waste and the quality of the collected material, converted to an alternative energy source, is very high (with “misplaced” material less than 2%).