Schools in Palencia discover the importance of sorting organic waste

sorting organic waste palencia schools

The ECOVAL awareness campaign that the Fundación Patrimonio Natural de Castilla y León is carrying out in Palencia was extended to the young people of the city. It has been through a series of meetings in different schools and institutes that began on 16 May and ended on 30 May at the Divino Maestro Educational Foundation.

On their journey, these educational days passed through the Colegio Santo Domingo de Guzmán, the CEIP Ciudad de Buenos Aires, the CEIP Jorge Manrique, the Colegio Tello Téllez de Meneses or the Centro de Formación Profesional Camino de la Miranda. In a total of 11 sessions distributed among these schools, plus Divino Maestro, the campaign reached a total number of 248 students. Ages ranged from 8 to 16 years old.

 

The circular economy as a regenerative economy.

The educational sessions were structured through an interactive and participatory procedure designed for schools and institutes in which the work carried out by Fundación Patrimonio Natural de Castilla y León in the transmission of the circular economy as a regenerative economy is presented. It consists of a game of questions and answers that will allow students to understand the value and the cycle of organic matter in a circular economy model, understanding the different useful tools, such as the prevention of food waste or the correct separation of waste. A team of environmental educators were in charge of carrying it out.

This campaign has also included posters on buses and bus shelters, the organisation of the Palencia Businessmen’s Conference and the publication of a Guide to Good Practices that provides information on the problem of urban organic waste and how it can be tackled at home. All of this is focused on disseminating and raising awareness across the board of the possibilities that the ECOVAL project offers for the management of sludge and urban organic waste.

Ecoval Sudoe, a sustainable approach to urban sludge and urban biowaste management

On 8 June, the event “Ecoval Sudoe, a sustainable approach to urban sludge and urban biowaste management“, organised by Porto Ambiente, will bring together the main actors involved in ECOVAL to define a clear and detailed picture of the project. The venue will be the headquarters of Porto Ambiente in Porto.

The Portuguese organising company is responsible for the urban waste management and cleaning services of the Porto city council. In recent years, it has made an effort to improve organic waste collection through innovation by participating in international R&D&I projects. In ECOVAL, they are dedicated to the identification of legal barriers to the recovery of sludge and urban bio-waste and to the proposal of legislative changes for the implementation of the ECOVAL model and its arrival on the market.

 

The programme of the event, which runs from 09:30h to 17:00h, will start with a welcome by Filipe Araújo, the Vice-Mayor of Porto, and an introduction to the project by the coordinator Antón Taboada, from Cetaqua. This will be followed throughout the morning by a series of presentations from each of the partners with a coffee break. After lunch, the invited consortium will visit the LIPOR Compost Plant and the Águas do Porto Wastewater Treatment Plant, learning about their operation first hand. You can consult the full programme here.

Attendance is limited to consortium members and those invited by Porto Ambiente. It will be the first time that the entire ECOVAL project consortium will meet in person, and they will take the opportunity to hold an organisational meeting the day after the event.

The campaign “A new bin, are you in?” travels to the CRA of Vilaboa

La campaña “Otro contendor, ¡qué marrón!” viaja de la mano de FEUGA hasta el CRA de Vilaboa

After the good reception of the activity in Colexio Mendiño, the ECOVAL campaign “A new bin, are you in?” is approached by the hand of FEUGA to the CRA of Vilaboa, a multilingual infant school, with children between 3 and 6 years old.

Following the values of the European Week for Waste Reduction, in which the campaign was born, and as part of the celebration of the World Recycling Day (17th May), the activity focused on transmitting to the youngest the importance of separating waste in the correct way in order to achieve a more sustainable world.

The implementation of the brown bin is not yet widespread throughout Europe, but in Vilaboa they have been separating organic waste for many years. The Green Point managed by the council is becoming a benchmark at provincial level, being able to manage up to 750 tonnes of organic waste per year, mainly from pruning and gardening.

Ecoval was in charge of reinforcing this positive attitude towards recycling in the classroom, explaining the processes involved in this type of circular economy and how each individual can collaborate at home to achieve a much greater collective benefit.

 

The activities to be carried out with the students were eminently practical, favouring more effective learning. A short introductory talk accompanied by animated videos provided the appropriate context to move on to action. As a practical exercise, each child received a piece of waste to be analysed and deposited in the corresponding container. Once all the waste had been sorted, the children were asked to check whether they had really sorted it correctly, correcting it together and discussing what they had learnt.

Taking advantage of the occasion, the importance of avoiding food waste and not using the toilet as a waste bin was also introduced, as many environmental problems are caused by flushing items such as wet wipes, cotton buds or plasters down the toilet, among others.

Activities such as this, which provide information about recycling and waste reduction in the classroom, are a key element in creating conscientious adults and bringing us closer to the sustainable world we all want to achieve.

 

ECOVAL Sudoe, the circular solution to replace fossil fuels

Industries are increasingly aware of the importance of implementing policies that respond to the context of the environmental crisis we are facing, with “reduce, reuse and recycle” being the new guidelines to be established in their ways of operating. Many decide to get involved and collaborate in research projects capable of developing innovative technologies aimed at taking advantage of waste or resources that have already been used to generate new goods, providing alternatives that are friendlier to the planet.

The urgency to apply circular alternatives in production processes to minimise the damage they can generate is one of the reasons why companies such as Repsol, Fertiberia or Grupo Valora have joined to support R&D&I projects such as those currently being developed in the Ourense biofactory, managed by Viaqua, in order to build a future where fossil fuels are no longer essential.

ECOVAL Sudoe, led by Cetaqua, the Water Technology Centre, and co-financed by the Interreg Sudoe Programme through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), is a project that aims to offer solutions of real application for the chemical, petrochemical and fertiliser industries. “Wastewater treatment processes generate large quantities of sludge. These have traditionally been seen as a waste to be eliminated, however, in the ECOVAL project we demonstrate that they can be a product from which high added value raw materials are generated that have potential for application in the chemical and petrochemical industry to produce compounds such as lubricants, bioplastics, paints or adhesives,” explains Antón Taboada, Project Manager of the project in Cetaqua Galicia.

“Cetaqua is doing magnificent work in the optimisation of the integral water cycle and the conversion of wastewater treatment plants into biofactories,” says Enrique Espí, senior research scientist at Repsol’s Technology Centre, a partner in the European project.

Repsol, a partner in the project, says it is “especially interested” in the use of sewage sludge as an “alternative and renewable raw material” to be applied in the manufacture of its plastic materials, says Espí, who considers the task of transforming sludge that was considered a “waste to be eliminated” into a “new resource” to be particularly noteworthy, an action aligned with one of its major challenges: “to obtain zero net emissions by 2050”, he adds.

Sectors specialising in the production of fertilisers are also one of the potential recipients of the by-products generated in ECOVAL. This is the case of Fertiberia, which aims to develop new products that integrate nutrients recovered from bio-waste. In this way, the head of R&D&I projects at Fertiberia, María Cinta Cazador, sees the ECOVAL project as a possibility of “advancing along this path”, constituting an example where “the viability and commercialisation of the proposed solutions have taken into account the participation of this final part of the value chain” and where “all the parties are fed back and benefit”, she points out.

On the other hand, Valentín Jiménez, Director and Group Managing Director of the Valora Group, a company specialising in services and products for the agricultural sector and another of those interested in the use of this bio-waste to apply to their business model, explains that investing in “projects that make this a tangible reality is one of the most effective ways to actively fight for the conservation of our environment, not only on an environmental level, but also on a social and economic level”.

“We have always understood WWTP sludge as a resource that, under exhaustive control and necessary transformation, can be converted into high added value products with a huge potential market; even more so in our country, which is increasingly affected by the loss of organic matter from our soils”. Valentín Jiménez explains.

Regarding the path that is currently being taken to establish more circular models, Enrique Espí, from Repsol, refers to a current context in which the energy sector is facing “new challenges, but also new opportunities where public-private collaboration is going to be fundamental”.

Similarly, María Cinta Cazador, from Fertiberia, highlights the importance of forging alliances that allow progress to be made, considering that “there are great technical difficulties in reaching a management model that achieves the optimum environmental and is economically viable”. For this reason, she explains, “collaboration between them, research bodies and end users, in this case, the fertiliser industry, is fundamental”, she concludes.

We are raffling three packs of two Ecoval bags!

sorteo de dos bolsas de Ecoval

At ECOVAL we are celebrating and we are raffling off three packs of two Ecoval bags!

We know that sometimes separating waste in the right way is a bit complicated, and that’s why we have created the campaign “Another bin, are you in?” to explain in a simple way how the new organic waste bin works.

To celebrate World Recycling Day on 17 May, we are launching a prize draw for you to win two bags with the design of the brown bin, which will serve as a reminder of what kind of waste you can put in it.

Entering is easy, follow us on social media (Twitter or LinkedIn), share the giveaway post to help us reach more people and that’s it! That’s all it takes to enter the draw, which will be drawn at random. If you want to get an extra entry, subscribe to our newsletter! We promise not to saturate your inbox, you will receive two newsletters a year, with the most interesting content of the Ecoval project, and the latest news.

You can participate until 24 May at 23:59. The result of the draw will be announced on the project’s networks on 25 May. We will contact you if you win the draw to send you the bags at home, you won’t have to worry about anything! Just enjoy the bags and separate organic waste correctly in order to achieve a more sustainable world. With Ecoval there are no more excuses!

You can read the rules of the draw here.

Ecoval visits Colexio Mendiño

Ecoval llevará su campaña al Colexio Mendiño

On Wednesday 18 May, the European project ECOVAL SUDOE presented its model of management and recovery of sewage sludge and organic waste to the students of the Mendiño school in Vigo.

Continuing with the values of the European Week for Waste Reduction, Ecoval Sudoe takes its campaign “Another bin, than brown” to Colexio Mendiño, a vocational training centre in the city of Oviedo.

The centre trains young people aged between 15 and 25 in administrative management, commerce and auxiliary nursing care. Although they are three very different branches, the Mendiño School strives to instil transversal values such as the importance of maintaining a healthy diet and separating waste correctly for recycling.

The Fundación Empresa-Universidad Gallega (FEUGA), communication leader in the project, organised a day in which the students reinforced their knowledge about how to separate waste, with special interest in the new brown bin, the one for organic waste. This container will be a reality in all European cities in 2024 and is already starting to be implemented in the city of Vigo. There are currently only 70 units of these containers, but the procedure has already begun to install 1950 more units.

The event took place on 18 May, with morning and afternoon sessions, taking advantage of the proximity of International Recycling Day, which is celebrated every year on 17 May. The students were able to learn how much organic and inorganic waste we generate annually, the current problem they pose and the solutions proposed by the project, based on their separation and recovery as Volatile Fatty Acids (VFA), a product in great demand by various industries and which is currently obtained mainly from oil.

The talk included theoretical explanations of the project framework, a small question and answer competition and a space to discuss the topics of most interest to the students, as well as any doubts they might have. In this way, the knowledge generated by the project was brought closer to the citizens in a pleasant and easy to understand way, placing science at the service of the population and favouring awareness and sensitisation on sustainability issues.

This activity follows the line of the presence of the project in schools, which began with the implementation of containers in schools in Ourense and will continue with another similar visit next week to the school of Vilaboa.

Palencia’s businessmen discuss the waste management model promoted by ECOVAL

As part of the ECOVAL awareness campaign in the city of Palencia, promoted by the Fundación Patrimonio Natural de Castilla y León, which since March has included posters on buses and bus shelters and training in schools, the Palencia Business Day took place on 16 May. The event brought together between 16:30 and 18:30 companies such as Aquona or Una mosca en mi sopa s.l. and institutions such as the City Council of Palencia. It was supported by the Palencia City Council, Aquona, the Chamber of Commerce and the Association of Hotel and Catering Businesses of Palencia. The venue was the Business Incubator of the Chamber of Commerce of Palencia in Santander Avenue nº44.

The programme of the conference included different talks and you can consult it in full here. After the welcome by Laura Díez (Fundación Patrimonio Natural de Castilla y León) and Ricardo Terrades (Una mosca en mi sopa s.l.), the presentation of Aquona and the circular economy in Water Management began, accompanied by tips for good water management applied to the hospitality industry, by Laura de Vega Franco, Director of Sustainable Development of Aquona. This was followed by a coffee break and a session by Gabriel Rubí, head of the Environment Service, who came as a representative of the City Council, to talk about organic matter management, the fifth container (are you in?) and the plans and forecasts for waste management for entrepreneurs. Finally, Ricardo Terrades, Creative Director of Una mosca en mi sopa s.l. and expert in gastronomic communication and sustainability, close the day talking about the beneficial results of zero waste restaurants.

 

If you have any questions, please contact us at: +34 687 73 13 65.