Workshops on circular economy: what did we learn?

During the European Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW 2014), the ResilieNtWEB project organised a workshop on “Waste circularity in the urban food system” on the 23rd of June.

More than 30 persons were present; the workshop gathered representatives of SME’s interested in new models and practices for sustainable development. Various presentations and discussions highlighted the potential of zero waste food production systems and stimulated the exchange of practical solutions by participants.

The workshop featured an eye-opening presentation by Vincent Walsh from the Biospheric Foundation in Manchester. The project is a show-case example of how a former industrial environment can provide a fertile basis for a closed loop food production system with almost zero waste.

Brigitte Borremans from Viangro presented the impressive results from working with the ResilieNtWEB team on the reduction of food waste from their processing plant while valorising unsold produce via social restaurants in Brussels. Raphaël Dupriez from the Little Food project showed the audience the multiple benefits of using urban food waste for the production of insects as a tasteful and sustainable delicatessen and meat replacement while Sébastien Finet presented the potential of performant food and green waste composting appliances for the use in horeca.

Sebastiaan de Neubourg from Greenloop presented the ResilieNtWEB project and explained what companies could gain from participating in the project. The presentation showcased the various tools developed in the project that help companies innovate towards a circular economy with zero waste and an optimal use of resources.

Through guided round-table discussions in small groups, the participants were able to share their projects, ambitions, failures and successes with reducing, reusing and recycling their waste. After the workshop Little Food arranged a wonderful tasting experience for all participants of their various cricket recipes.

The workshop was followed by a conference the next day on ‘the role of local public authorities in stimulating the circular economy.’

The ResilieNtWEB project has been presented during the conference in parallel to multiple initiatives that the city of Brussels has initiated. A diagnostic study on the urban metabolism of the city is will give a global view of the flows in the area to assure optimal usage. Marion Courtois from Brussels Environment presented the Work-Environment Alliance that groups public and private partners to work on solutions for sustainable construction, water, resources and waste, and sustainable food.

A summary of the conference can be found here: http://www.energy-cities.eu/Les-villes-sont-pretes-a-relever.

An article by Hélène Dekker, Brussels Environment-IBGE and Sebastiaan De Neubourg, Greenloop

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