New European circular economy project SYMSITES kicks off in Alicante
19 Jul 2022
On 12 July the Spanish research and innovation center AITEX, launched the new international EU-funded project SYMSITES, in collaboration with 30 partners from 9 different countries. Members include universities, research centers, private companies, wastewater management plants and local government associations, from Spain, Denmark, Austria, Greece, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Romania and Israel. SYMSITES aims to accelerate the green and digital transition of Europe to a circular economy.
More specifically, the ultimate objective of SMYSITES is to develop new technologies and stakeholders engagement methodologies that will pave the way to prove the concept of regional Industrial-Urban Symbiosis, by bringing together different organizations for the proper functioning of the circular economy. Far from the competition paradigm, cooperation and collaboration among citizens, municipalities and companies is needed. Thus, each entity involved in waste management is a link within the waste management chain.
During the project's execution period of 48 months, four hubs called "EcoSites" will be installed in four European regions with different economic, social and environmental aspects, namely: Spain (focus on cosmetic and textile industries), Denmark (breweries and local agriculture), Austria (meat industry) and Greece (olive oil industry).
The EcoSites are based on wastewater treatment plants, industries or agriculture companies in the region forming a hub that will collect wastewater, biowastes, and non-recyclable waste generated by both the urban and industrial environments. A novel co-treatment will be established at the regional wastewater treatment plants to generate clean water, energy, several upcycled side streams of products (sludges, biogas.), and high added value products (platform molecules, fertilizers, PHAs), etc. for reuse by the industries in the specific region.