In the EU over 100 million tonnes of biowaste are thrown away each year. Currently 75% of this goes to landfill or is incinerated, causing major environmental problems: biowaste produces greenhouse gases when it decomposes and contaminates soil and groundwater. Landfilling of biowaste goes against the principle of a circular economy and is a waste of nutrients, energy and potential resources for biobased products.


In the SCALIBUR Horizon 2020 project, leading waste management companies, technology developers and research organisations have teamed up with four European cities to demonstrate innovative solutions to transform urban food waste and sewage sludge into high value-added products, helping cities to increase their recycling rate and creating new circular economy business opportunities.


Improving biowaste collection

SCALIBUR will identify and develop best practices for selective collection, transport, sorting and pre-treatment, and characterisation of food waste and urban sewage sludge.
Partners will engage stakeholders along the value chain – from waste generators to collectors and processors – to support the integration of innovative biowaste management practices in three pilot cities.

Creating high value products

SCALIBUR will create new business opportunities by demonstrating innovative value chains to transform three urban biowaste streams into high-value industrial products.

The products include different kinds of bioplastics and biopesticides, as well as proteins, lipids and chitin for food and feed applications.

SCALIBUR will help to reduce the environmental impact of waste and generate new work opportunities for Europe
- César Aliaga, ITENE
It’s the future, it's circular and it's cool
- Federico Fontana, Kour Energy
Bio-based products will help to substitute products that now come from the petrochemical industry
- Inés del Campo, CENER
A great chance to empower citizens and all actors along the biowaste value chain
- Carina Diedrich, CSCP
An example of the circular economy which can be inspiring for cities and regions
- Pieter de Jong, WETSUS
Helping companies make business out of the circular economy
- Arjan de Bruin, Innovat.ion


The SCALIBUR project (Scalable Technologies for Bio-urban Waste Recovery) began in November 2018 and will run for four years until October 2022. It has received €10 million grant from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Programme. The project involves 21 partners from 8 countries.



César Aliaga


James Ling

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