Newsletter november 2011

Composters and trainings in the field: Miniwaste is moving on for the second half of the project!

zoom sur le compostWe are now at the mid-term of the Miniwaste project. The partners are well on their way to achieving their goals, and there is still a lot to do in the field. In particular, the three cities and region partners of the project (Rennes Metropole, Brno and Lipor) have done a good job so far in reducing bio-waste in their area and they will double their efforts to involve citizens. Take a look at what is happening!

Large-scale decentralized composting in Rennes

With the help of Eisenia, a French organisation providing training in bio-waste reduction, Rennes Metropole has implemented a series of promotion and training activities for composting at home (individual and collective housing) and on-site (cafeterias, catering services, etc.). So far, almost 2000 individual composter bins have been distributed. Various communication tools have been developed (poster campaign, flyers, video interviews, etc.) and awareness-raising actions (conferences, demonstrations during local events, etc.) have proven to be quite successful. Rennes Metropole also supports a network of composting guides and assistants based on events held in their neighborhoods and communities: the number of master composters has reached half of the project’s objective (100 by end 2012). New practices are being, or are about to be tested, in particular indoor composting with witness households weighing their bio-waste (June-October 2011) and fight against food waste in school restaurants (2012).

A pilot district in Brno

In the district of Žebětín, Brno has increased the number of individual compost bins distributed in 2011, to include distribution to schools, and installed a collective composting site. Around 230 composting bins have been distributed and over 100 more will be in the coming months. Brno has also been taking this opportunity to continuously distribute awareness-raising material to citizens when delivering the compost bins. Five demonstration sites have been placed in recycling centres in Brno, namely one in the Žebětín district and the others elsewhere in the city. Annual local events are also a good opportunity to raise awareness about bio-waste prevention, for instance a fruit and vegetable exhibition in October. In 2012, increased efforts will focus on food waste reduction.

Bio-waste prevention in Porto Region

Since the beginning of the Miniwaste project, Lipor has implemented various communication activities in order to involve citizens in bio-waste prevention: emailing, video, Facebook, newsletters, conferences and events, etc. Several initiatives in relation to bio-waste prevention allowed Lipor to reach a wide audience, through coordination with other Miniwaste activities, in particular the following: Horta da Formiga (composting demonstration site: 76 type of courses, 9,000 class participants and 12,500 visitors of the site since 2002), Horta na Escola (community composting and organic gardens in schools: 123 participating schools since 2004), Terra a Terra (home and collective composting: about 6,000 composters distributed and 33 community composting sites since 2007), Menu Dose Certa (food waste reduction in restaurants since 2008).

Bio-waste prevention: hot topic in Brno conference

Miniwaste partner, the City of Brno, held a conference on bio-waste prevention on the 13th of September 2011. The conference was organized within the framework of the Miniwaste project, giving the opportunity to share experiences and achievements regarding bio-waste prevention.

Around 60 experts on bio-waste prevention met in Brno to present their expertise on problems encountered, solutions and benefits that have been learned regarding the development and implementation of bio-waste prevention strategies, and initiatives at local or regional level. Within the four sessions of the conference, the speakers addressed issues regarding challenges relating to bio-waste prevention, actions taken at the local and regional level, the assessment and monitoring tools used and good practices.

After an overview of the European situation on bio-waste, ACR+ focused in particular on smart cooking and smart gardening. Cases and experiences were presented by Lipor, Rennes Metropole and Brno, and by other cities in the Czech Republic and Europe. The initiatives implemented within Miniwaste included, for instance, the development of home and community composting sites, training sessions for citizens, assistance to composting masters, etc. Cemagref highlighted the latest developments of quantitative and qualitative assessment protocols. The Czech Ministry for the Environment introduced its new draft law on waste management, to be finalised in 2012.

The conference has also been an opportunity for bio-waste experts to share their ideas and expertise with other actors and projects in Europe. In particular, experts presented activities implemented in the framework of Pre-waste, Green Cook and the European Week for Waste Reduction. The conference material (programme and speakers’ presentations) are available on the Miniwaste website.

Studies and research: Miniwaste mid-term’s state of play

In order to provide cities and regions with efficient and useful tools to reduce bio-waste, the Miniwaste partners have been sharing their expertise and making technical analyses. These tasks have shown to be fruitful so far but brains must work even harder in order to deliver the final tools, in particular methodologies and the monitoring web platform.

During the first year of the project, ACR+ gathered and analysed various bio-waste reduction case studies implemented in Europe. The result was a compilation of ten good practices extensively described in terms of process, success factors and challenges. These good practices were published at the beginning of 2011 on the Miniwaste website. After the publication of the inventory of good practices, ACR+ continued to act as communication manager, in particular regarding general communication and dissemination activities, like the Miniwaste website and the presentation of the project at several events like the Green Week. Like other partners, ACR+ also continued to provide technical expertise and analyses, for instance regarding the study aimed at defining the Miniwaste computerized tool and the various protocols developed within the project.

The development of these protocols is of the main responsibility of Cemagref, which aims to develop three kinds of methodologies (protocols) on the basis of research performed in the field and in the lab: assessment of the effect of composting on waste quantity, assessment of composters used for community composting and assessment of compost quality. Regarding the assessment of the effect of composting on waste quantity, the assessment tools are surveys, waste characterization (using the French MODECOM procedure), waste weighing by households and (electronic) green waste quantification. The assessment of composters used for collective composting depends on several factors, such as the type of bio-waste (green or kitchen waste), the frequency of deposits, etc. Regarding the assessment of compost quality, the methods are sensorial analysis (survey filled in by composters) and physic-chemical analysis (in lab). Preliminary results will soon be available.

On the basis of the inventory of good practices and the protocols, a web tool is to be developed and tested in 2012 in order to help cities and regions to assess and monitor the efficiency of bio-waste prevention strategies implemented on their territory. Rennes Metropole is in charge of developing this web tool. In order to define more clearly the needs and functioning of the tool, BIO Intelligence Service has been asked to conduct a study. As a result, the tool will be structured in 3 modules:
  • Decision-making module (before any action or strategy is implemented), helping to make a territorial diagnosis and consult appropriate preventive actions;
  • Actions monitoring module, helping to implement and follow-up bio-waste prevention actions;
  • Result consultation module, presenting the results of the actions under the format of general or specific graphs and charts.
On the basis of this study, the web tool will be built in early 2012, and then the tool will be tested by the partners and by other local and regional authorities in Europe.

Focus on a partner: BrnoLipor

Each issue of the Miniwaste newsletter focuses on one of the five Miniwaste partners (Rennes MétropoleACR+, Lipor, Brno and Cemagref). This time, Brno is under the spotlight.

The Czech partner in a few words

Brno, the Czech Republic‘s second largest city, has a population of nearly 370,000 people. It lies in the central part of Europe and within its two hundred-kilometre radius there are other important European capitals: Prague, Vienna and Bratislava. Brno is the metropolis of Moravia and an important tourist centre for all who want to explore the natural and cultural beauties of the South-Moravian region. In 2010 households in Brno generated 104,123 tons of waste of which 71,530 tons was energetically used in municipal company SAKO. Brno with its 269 kg of waste per inhabitant per year places itself bellow the country average of 316 kg/inhabitant/year. The City of Brno has a wide network of waste reception centres (currently there are 39). They serve to dispose bulky waste but also other types of separated wastes (paper, glass, metal, PET, polystyrene, construction waste and so on) including dangerous wastes. All these centres accept green waste. Last year 1,704 tons of green waste were collected this way and processed in the composting plant. The share of the bio-waste component in residual waste in Brno reaches 30 %.

Brno’s role in Miniwaste

The City of Brno implements, within the Miniwaste Project, a pilot project in home composting in the city district Brno - Žebětín. Within the framework of this pilot project, the composting bins are placed near houses and the impact of composting on the composition of residual communal waste is regularly assessed. Brno organises dissemination actions in order to promote home composting and deliver information on composting to the citizens (demonstration actions, guides and handbooks on composting). Apart from that, Brno runs a local web page ( where all the information on the project implementation and latest developments is provided. This project helps Brno to assess the potential in home composting in Czech conditions.

Miniwaste from Brno’s point of view

The greatest part of residual communal waste is composed of biodegradable components. Home composting provides a possibility to use this part of communal waste in the place where it is generated without expenditures on the waste collection and transport to the place of further treatment. Home composting, apart from making use of bio-waste, helps to lower the costs of waste collection and treatment. The Miniwaste project aims also to assess the potential of composting in Czech society given the cultural and urban specifications.

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 What is Miniwaste

a 3-year European project funded by the LIFE+ programme of the European Commission that aims to design, implement and assess an innovative and sustainable strategic plan to MINImise municipal organic WASTE in EU countries, up until 2012.

With the financial support of the LIFE+ Programme of the European Commission

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