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In the Sudoe region, which encompasses the Spanish autonomous communities (except the Canary Islands), the southwest regions of France, the continental regions of Portugal, Gibraltar and the Principality of Andorra, each individual generates 136 kg of organic waste per year.

Thus, the generation of 11 million tonnes of organic waste per year is achieved, 9 of which are food scraps.

In the case of sewage sludge, the figure for this waste reaches 1 million 300 thousand tonnes per year.

How is this waste managed?

65% of this organic waste is incinerated or deposited in a landfill, due to a low implementation of selective collection.

In the case of sewage sludge, its main final destination is agricultural use (56%), after the conversion of organic matter into biogas and the application of digestate as fertiliser. The remaining percentages are incinerated (24%) or sent to landfill (10%).

What does ECOVAL propose?

A change in urban waste management systems, to integrate separation at source and replace the current linear consumption model with a circular one, through the recovery of sludge and organic waste thanks to the development of innovative technologies that are more economically and environmentally sustainable.

The urban organic waste and sludge generated during the wastewater treatment are a potential source of organic carbon that can be transformed into bio-products with high added value, such as volatile fatty acids (VFAs).

To do this, ECOVAL will demonstrate techniques and tools to control the anaerobic process, which are based on inhibiting the last stage of the anaerobic digestion process to obtain biogas, thus promoting the fermentation process of acidogenesis.