The two most common issues in biowaste collection are impurities in source-separated biowaste and that biowaste often is disposed in the wrong bin. Additionally there is a considerable potential for food waste avoidance.
These three issues will be evaluated within the DECISIVE project by the German partner group from the Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH). Two different living areas in the city of Lübeck were chosen as case study areas to connect different socio-economic backgrounds with waste behaviours of citizens. Furthermore two different types of collections systems were chosen (bin systems and underground collection systems), to assess the impact of the technical infrastructure.
In a second step a more citizen-adjusted biowaste collection system will be introduced test-wise and compared with the existing one. The main feature of this system is the abstinence of large kerbside bins. Instead, the inhabitants will be provided with small buckets suiting the space under the sink. The citizens just have to bring the buckets to the collection space outside in exchange of a clean one. The buckets will be collected 3 times a week by a caretaker. It is expected that the new system will be more hygienic, aesthetic and would save space. A further reason for emphasizing “clean” bins is to avoid any paper or plastic bags in the biowaste to safe resources, to simplify biowaste processing and increase the compost quality. Prior to the investigation, in one area the TUHH group will organise an event with the inhabitants to introduce the project. The inhabitants of the second area will receive flyers. A best practice guideline for source-separation of biowaste and an explanation of the new collection system will be provided to both.
A key aspect of the investigation is the characteristics of the bulks of biowaste and residual waste before and after implementing the new collection system by waste sorting analyses into about 20 fractions. This activity will also be supported by a survey with the inhabitants. Data on amounts and quality will be collected with a simple characterisation method. At the end of the investigation, it is expected to have achieved knowledge on the potential for ecological, social and economic improvements by providing a more citizen adapted collection system.
The results of this investigation will be released in 2019.