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The UAB Campus has been selected as the Catalan demonstration site after having analysing its advantages and disadvantages compared to other potential locations. The chosen location fits very well into the commitment of the Vice-Rector for Innovation and Strategic projects, therefore the approval from the Vice-Rector for Economics and the support of the Waste Manager of UAB have been reached. The location’s remoteness, yet still a part of the Barcelona Metropolitan Area implies the existence of agricultural areas with research activities where the produced digestate could be spread. The campus also has a hotel, 10 restaurants and students’ residences which assures different kind of biowaste input. Despite the fact that currently only around 19% of generated biowaste is selectively collected, there is a commitment from the managers of the catering companies so that the selective collection can reach at least 100 t in one year. Due to the huge amount of people (30,000 resident and non-resident students, 8,000 postgraduates and 6,000 employees) passing through the Campus, the effect of sensitivity and communication actions will probably lead to a high impact on waste separation behaviour and biowaste quality.


The campus of the UAB has a total of 260 ha, of which 90 ha are built; 60% of total area is composed of forest and agricultural fields. The campus is delimited by highways C-58 (SE) and AP-7 (NE), and Bellaterra village (W). Apart from specific building of the University (Vila and Blanc), the Sert area includes private housing of the Bellaterra village within the campus limits. A great variety of activities generate wastes on the campus, from municipal waste and similar to specific wastes arising from research activities (agricultural waste, hazardous and non-hazardous laboratory waste, etc.). For the pilot study the main concern lies with the general municipal waste and particularly the biowaste. The biowaste in the area is generated at different sources. Several restaurants and cafeterias on campus generate kitchen- and food waste. The area of the Vila is also a potential source of biowaste because it is composed of flats provided with kitchens. Nevertheless, the pilot study mainly focuses on the restaurants, considering that their biowaste generation and handling will be easier to control.

Biowaste produced in the UAB Campus will be collected to feed the micro-AD unit. Considering the figures and assuming a maximum collection rate of biowaste, a total amount of 214 t of biowaste per year could be collected. During the development of the project it is expected to increase the collection of biowaste, mainly due to the deployment of awareness campaigns in all the campus (restaurants and Vila).


The energy produced from the demonstration site will be used to heat the maintenance area that is located close to the area to develop the pilot in case there will be energy surplus once the auto consumption of the pilot is discounted. The digestate produced for the mAD will be used in a SSF process to produce bio-pesticides or will be treated, whether solid or liquid, to produce organic fertilizers. Both bio-based products will be used in the veterinarian area as soil amendment or fertiliser or biopesticide in the crops for farm animal feeding. The treatment technology chosen for the biowaste produced in the UAB campus has been anaerobic digestion in a microdigester – mDA (i.e. small capacity under max 200 t/year). The advantages of this technology are its reduced space demand in comparison to other systems such as composting, as well as the fact that the material can be confined inside a device. This also allows to control gases and liquids, and consequently the production of odours.

You can read more and detailed information, including the technical specifications in the dedicated publication “Methodology of characterization of the biowaste management system in the DECISIVE demonstration sites: current and new systems simulation for the Lyon and Catalonia cases”. It can be found in the library.

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