LIFE+: European Commission provides millions for new waste projects

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LIFE (Source: EU Commission)

Brussels — The European Commission has today approved funding for 225 new projects under the LIFE+ programme, the European Union’s environment fund. The projects selected were submitted by beneficiaries in all 28 Member States and cover actions in the fields of nature conservation, climate change, environmental policy and information and communication on environmental issues across the EU. Overall, they represent a total investment of some €589.3 million, of which the EU will provide €282.6 million.

Amongst others, projects concerning waste are:

WISER LIFE (The Rediscovery Centre Ltd.): The project will demonstrate best practice in waste reuse and preparation for reuse through the creation of an innovative centre demonstrating excellence in reuse at every level of interaction, supported by an eco-cluster of resource-efficient enterprises, and complemented by a suite for environmental education, training and research programmes.

LIFE+ CELSTAB (Procter & Gamble Service GmbH): This project will demonstrate on an industrial scale the feasibility of upscaling and integrating processes for the production of a new absorbent core and cellulose component for a specific feminine hygiene product. The process will combine patented technology in a new multilayer arrangement that uses 15-25% less material and reduces emissions by 10-15% tCO2 equivalent per year with an overall target for waste prevention of 15-25%. The innovative multi-layer material concept and technology aims to meet consumer product, quality and industrial-scale production process requirements.

LIFE – INFOCYCLE (Appliances Recycling S.A.): This project intends to address the limited available quantity of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) in the Ipirus and Thessaly regions. Actions will focus on increasing the quality of processes by the partners of an existing collective recycling scheme, thus minimising its environmental footprint. Furthermore, several actions are foreseen to increase local environmental awareness regarding the risks of incorrectly processing WEEE.

LIFE EXTRUCLEAN (AIMPLAS, Asociación de Investigación de Materiales Plásticos y Conexas): The project intends to demonstrate a new technology using supercritical CO2 for the elimination of hazardous substances present in polyethylene waste from packages of solvents or phytosanitary products. This technology will upgrade the recycling of this waste by reducing water consumption by 50%, chemicals use by 65% and energy consumption by 90%, cutting CO2 emissions in 630 kg per year.

LIFE GREENZO (Asociación de Investigación de la Indústria del Juguete, Conexas y Afines): LIFE GREENZO aims to develop and test a new method, based on plasma technology, to obtain zinc oxide from the hazardous waste produced by the zamak industry (zamak is an alloy of Zn, Al, Mg and Cu). The project expects to produce zinc oxide suitable for reuse in the rubber and chemical catalysts manufacturing industries.

LIFE ECOdigestion (Aguas de Valencia S.A.): This project aims to test an innovative automated control device for waste dosage, with the aim of increasing the biogas production by anaerobic co-digesters in wastewater treatment plants. Among other results, with this technology they expect to increase the waste co-digestion capacity of the plant by 60% and its biogas production by 20%.

LIFE RECYMAGNET (L’UREDERRA, Fundación para el Desarrollo Tecnológico y Social): The objective of this project is to design and demonstrate a recycling plant for recovering NdFeB magnets from discarded hard disk drives (HDDs). The project expects to develop a recycling technology able to recover up to 80% of the rare earth metal content of NdFeB in HDDs with a purity of over 95%, and to reduce resulting waste by 85% in weight.

LIFE EWAS (Wellness Telecom S.L.): LIFE EWAS aims to demonstrate the potential of advances in information technology to optimise waste management methods. The project actions will extend the uptake of innovative waste collection methodologies using low-invasive technologies based on software and hardware data collection and analysis technologies. The project expects to reduce the costs of waste management activities by 15-30% and their greenhouse gas emissions by more than 10%.

LIFE TRANSFOMEM (IMDEA-AGUA, Fundación Instituto Madrileño de Estudios Avanzados): The objective of this project is to test an innovative and environmentally-friendly recycling process for waste reverse-osmosis desalination membranes, currently landfilled, in order to produce lower pressure ultra-nanofiltration membranes.

LIFE ECOCITRIC (Ayuntamiento La Vall D’uixo): This project will demonstrate the technical, economic and environmental viability of a new valorisation system for agricultural waste from pruning citruses. The model proposed promotes prevention, reuse and recycling of waste, focusing on the concept of lifecycle and the eco-design of market-valuable products from citrus waste.

LIFE Fresh Box (Fundación Parque Científico Tecnológico Aula Dei): This project will develop an innovative and more environmentally-friendly container in order to improve the sustainability of the whole value chain of fresh produce distribution through to the final consumer. The “Fresh Box” container will reduce food waste production, extend the shelf life of fresh produce and reduce fuel/energy consumption.

LIFE+ NOWASTHEM (HOLCIM France S.A.S): This project aims to demonstrate an innovative co-generation solution to unite cement production with the recycling of mixed coarse solid waste. The energy produced by a thermal waste pre-treatment process (pyro-gasification) will be used for production purposes, which will result in substantial fossil fuel savings.

AUTOPLAST-LIFE (Valsir S.p.A.): This project aims to develop a system for the recovery and recycling of special plastic waste from the automotive sector. The system will include a network for the selective collection of vehicles’ waste tanks and reservoirs, as well as a pilot recycling plant to generate recyclable secondary material.

LIFE in SustainaBuilding (Mamma Rosa’s Project S.r.l.): The overall objective of the project is to set up a demonstration production line for valorising various waste materials including unsorted glass waste that are currently sent to landfill. It specifically aims to recycle this waste to produce innovative construction materials – such as bricks, panels, wall coverings, and internal and external flooring

LIFE CARWASTE (PAL srl): The project plans to develop and demonstrate an innovative technology and process to facilitate the re-use of ‘fluff’ materials in cement and steel plants in line with the lifecycle management of end-of-life vehicles. It will design and construct a pilot plant that aims to finely separate small shredded car waste materials and to recover and recycle component materials for the production of high quality fuel for cement and steel plants, meeting EU regulations on standards for solid recovered fuels.

Life Is.eco (Saint-Gobain PPC ITALIA S.P.A.): The project’s main aim focuses on implementing an innovative recycling/waste management system for bitumen-polymer wastes and glass wool scraps. It will do this through the realisation of the two pilot plants established to recover bitumen-polymer membranes and insulation mineral materials. These materials can be valued, prepared for reuse, and then converted back in the production cycle for new goods containing bitumen-polymer and glass wool.

LIFE for life’s material (Caleffi Srl): The project aims to develop and test two innovative technologies: cryogenic machining and spark plasma sintering. Either technique alone would not allow reprocessing or recovery of titanium chips on site, but used in conjunction they open the way for a completely new approach to machining and closed cycles with zero waste production. The project will thus combine the two technologies to develop a small demonstration line for complete and direct recycling of titanium chips, and the chip removal process (about 1 500 kg/year).

LIFE MED (CAUTO Cantiere Autolimitazione Cooperative Sociali a.r.l): This project aims to improve waste management for discarded medical equipment, with environmental, economic and social benefits. It will do so by implementing a new integrated management system for discarded medical equipment, in particular biomedical devices and by correcting management of medical waste, by means of the specific characterisation of medical WEEE.

GREEN LIFE (Gruppo Dani S.p.A.): This project aims to develop new technologies to reduce the environmental impact of the leather processing industry. It specifically plans to introduce an enzymatic and oxidative liming process to produce leather of the same quality, with reduced environmental costs. This will correspondingly reduce the volume of harmful waste by-products – such as solid waste containing chromium and sulphates. It will also reduce the volume of unwanted hazardous emissions to the air.

The full list can be found under europa.eu.

Source: EU commission