Every day large quantities of waste are generated in cities. A lot of this waste is incinerated. How can we turn high-quality waste resources into value? Monitoring tool geoFluxus leads the way to a circular economy by mapping waste flows.
When it comes to household waste the City has a duty to collect and process this. The total household waste came down to about 380kg per year per person.
When comparing the amount of household versus company waste produced in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area (AMA), still only 11% is household related, whereas 89% is company waste – such as sludge, scrap metals, wood, and scrap lumber and very dedicated to the company processes related waste flows.
The B2B contracts between (commercial) parties to collect and process industry waste often result in a lot of trips and shipments of large amounts of waste. A company in Amsterdam could have its company waste exported to and treated by another company located far outside the AMA, or even abroad. These company waste materials, as compared to consumer waste flows, often enter the waste flow in relatively good condition. If managed differently, these used materials in company ‘waste’ flows could be directly integrated at the start of the design process of new products.
One of the crucial steps in the process of re-using company waste materials is for these waste and resource flows to be known publicly. The good thing is that large data sets already exist in European countries. Based on EU rules and regulations, companies that produce, transport, or treat waste are obliged to, among others, report the amount and type of waste.
With geoFluxus, incomprehensible waste data tables are converted into comprehensible maps and graphs. This is valuable for spatial strategies in cities. Next to mapping waste, the geoFluxus team has connected open EU data on GHG emissions to the mapped waste flows by using transport, economic sector, and waste treatment statistics. The resulting tool can provide governments with data evidence on what economic sectors, materials, and locations hold the highest potential not only for reducing waste but also for reducing carbon emissions. Governments can use the tool to monitor progress towards circularity.
The insights on the waste data generated by geoFluxus enable users to develop and test the impact of spatial strategies, for very specific locations, before actually implementing them. In addition, geoFluxus takes on a “match making” role: to have companies select company materials from other actors close by to re-use these instead of transporting the materials for waste treatment outside the AMA.