IRSSAT – after patenting its waste-eating robot – has been invited as guest at European Commission “Green Week”.  

Brussels  –  From  today  the  small  robot  able  to  transform  household  waste  into  energy  is  operative  in  the European capital: N.O. W.A.S.T.E. 1  system – created by IRSSAT 2  - is arrived at European Commission “Green Week”. It is the first step to approach the economic and institutional context of northern Europe, in order to apply the circular economy principles.  

Revenues and not costs out of household waste 

The system transforms organic waste into high quality compost and then in biogas – therefore into clean energy. A process meant to cut collection and transport costs, thus producing revenues. A solution that changes the concept of waste, that no longer applies, transforming it into a reusable material. This is the circular economy solution proposed by Irssat project.

Irssat and the Green Week.   
Irssat  is  the  only  Italian  research  institute  selected  to  participate  at  "Green  Week"  2014  edition,  the  most important annual conference on European environmental policies that starts today at the Conference Center in Rue Bara. Out of the 44 selected initiatives around Europe by the European Commission, three projects will represent Italy, and N.O. WA.S.T.E. is one of these.

Nowaste cycle today.  
In  2009  Irssat  has  been  funded  under  the  Life  plus  program  for  "N.O.WA.S.T.E"  project  –  meaning  New Organic Waste Sustainable Treatment Engine.
The aim of the project is to reduce to zero the waste management costs for organic waste. It is one of the 2010 projects approved by the European Commission in 27 countries and has been funded, with European resources, for 50% of the eligible costs, up to 1 million euro.  
The project is now at the second stage of testing and it used in three pilot areas in Sicily (Gaggi rural area, Melilli industrial area, Castelmola touristic area).  

The waste-eating robot at the heart of the project.  
The  new  waste  management  system  created  by  "N.O.WA.S.T.E"  is  based  on  the  use  of  a  new  household appliance: a robot, half the size of a dishwasher machine. The machine – silently and comfortably in the house ‘kitchen  -  shreds  and  transform  organic  waste  into  a  sort  of  “pre-compost”  thanks  to  enzymes  and  without producing any smell. Every two weeks the “pre-compost” is collected door-to-door by composting companies, thus   eliminating   waste   collection   costs   and   waste   disposal   costs,   generating   positive   economic   and environmental results.  
To  date  75  families  are  testing  the  product,  with  100  robots  in  operation.  The  results  of  this  test-phase  are encouraging: it is confirmed that the processed compost is of high quality and it is apt for agricultural use.  The third step of the project will see the extension of the project to 1000 families to scale up the analysis on costs and profits.  

The future of N.O. WA.S.T.E. process

The waste-eating robot patented by Irssat is the first step of the process. We now want to test the whole system to validate its economic strengths.  
Just  to  give  an  example  of  the  N.O.  WA.S.T.E.  project  potentials:  on  average,  a  person  produces  85kg  of organic waste per year, so for a city with 10.000 citizens there will be  production of 850.000 kg/y. If the N.O.WA.S.T.E. is applied and by using the biogas produced from the organic waste fraction by bio-digestion through co-generation, we will produce around 70.000€ of electric energy, calculated using the Italian “standard rate”.  

  "N.O. W.A.S.T.E. process - claims  Giuseppe Lo Bianco, the President of Irssat -  helps to keep the dry waste clean thus avoiding the contamination by the organic waste, eliminates the need of incineration or landfill disposal and reduces at its minimum the not recyclable fraction. Furthermore it reduces the collection of organic waste to once every two weeks without producing smell, it generates biogas, energy and high quality compost for agriculture: a coherent approach in line with circular economy principles promoted by the European Union”.
  “Our system enables to generate environmental and economic benefit: a cleaner environment, less costs for waste collection and energy generation. This can be applied in all the areas where separate waste collection is already implemented and the public system works well. For this reason, our institute is looking for opportunities of replication in northern Europe, because it is the most institutionally and economically ready market to apply our system, that we perfected with commitment”.
  “We  believe  that  in the  economic  and  institutional  framework of  northern  Europe  we  can  found  the systemic conditions and the strategic vision to develop our initiative. Our system is in line with circular economy principles, doesn’t produce waste and values them, thus generating revenues".


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