November 2019 is marking the end of the H2020 URBANREC project and the release of its final results. In addition to the policy recommendations and demonstrators presented during the project final conference, URBANREC delivered, in particular, a comprehensive guide on bulky waste management and knowledge transfer activities, via regional training sessions, and the online interactive tool and e-learning modules on bulky waste management.

Brussels, Belgium – Despite the continuous progress of municipal waste management, there are still several waste streams that have limited opportunities for material recovery and thus end up in landfills or in incineration plants. One of these challenging streams is “bulky waste”, which is defined as “(mixed) waste from households and similar waste from companies, that do not fit in the regular receptacle used for the collection of household wastes” by the URBANREC project.

Bulky waste includes furniture, mattresses, upholstery, garden and outdoor or other large fixtures and fittings, representing a European generation of 19 Mt/year. More than 60% of bulky waste is currently landfilled in the EU. This is a challenging stream because many products managed as bulky waste are composite products, that require a dismantlement process to allow the recovery of the various materials. Other challenges are the lack of stringent regulation, and the lack of market outcomes due to, amongst others, the inexistence of cost-effective valorisation methods.

URBANREC aims to improve the separation and disassembling of bulky waste, implementing advanced fragmentation techniques to obtain high-quality raw materials, promoting innovative valorisation routes for those considered more problematic (PUR foam, mixed hard plastics, and mixed textiles), not recycled due to lack of eco-innovative cost-effective solutions. It also aims to become the basis for a global EU framework on bulky waste, collaborating to the definition and support of future EU legislation in urban bulky waste management.

The URBANREC consortium is a private-public organisations partnership which started in 2016 and finished in November 2019 with the project final conference: Circular economy in cities, organised by ACR+ and hosted at the European Parliament. This final conference, in addition to presenting the legal recommendations developed in the frame of the project, showcased the technical partners’ innovative solutions made out of bulky waste.

In its lifetime, URBANREC designed a large range of sustainable options for better management of urban bulky waste. These include technical and technological solutions for enhancing reuse, effective collection, separation and disassembly, and innovative products made from bulky waste, as well as activities to raise public awareness. In addition, the real value of the project is that its results and knowledge generated are transferable and applicable at EU level. Several project transfer activities such as regional training sessions already took place to increase the understanding of potential users of the project’s outcomes and their benefits. A guide on bulky waste management was prepared by ACR+ to support public authorities and waste companies in charge of managing urban bulky waste. The partners have also created an online interactive tool where all relevant information is centralised. More specifically, the online tool includes key deliverables and their summaries, a calculator instrument helping to visualise the quantitative impact of implementing URBANREC solutions, as well as an e-learning module bringing consumers and waste managers along with the possible steps of waste management process enabled by URBANREC.

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For more information:

ACR+ Secretariat
Philippe Micheaux Naudet:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | +32 2 234 65 00


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