PyCo : A circular economy model for the community recovery of organic waste (2017)



The project aims to solve a key environmental problem related to the management of organic wastes which are produced in urban contexts. Indeed we know that currently in some European urban areas, where the waste collection systems are ineffective, the quality of collected organic wastes is low; therefore in the related industrial centralized plant of valorization, low quality organic compost is produced, which is then finally brought to landfill, being this type of compost useless. Moreover, specifically in the case of simply composting, without any process of energetic valorization, industrial treatment of wastes is often a carbon positive model.

The PyCo model provides for both the development of more effective community source collection system for the recovery of organic waste, and the realization of a plant system, to valorize the collected wastes through the combination of anaerobic digestion, composting and biochar technologies.

The proposed system is based on an innovative integration between composting and pyrolysis technologies.

Indeed Italy is among the first countries in Europe that has published a law allowing the use of biochar in agriculture. Furthermore, the concept of “community compost” has been introduced by the regulation 2011/753/UE, and aims at fostering sustainable waste management, community awareness and circular economy practices linking production, valorization and use of waste locally. We believe the combination of existing technologies such as anaerobic digestion, pyrolysis, composting together with the opportunities created by these new regulations will enable successful practices to boost the 50% target of urban waste recycling (2008/98/CE) as well as a successful systemic circular economy business model.


PyCo aims to develop and realize a community circular economy model; this model enables the implementation of an actually effective system for the source collection of municipal organic waste. Indeed a main goal of the project consists in an effective valorization of organic residues, through the production of high quality organic compost and value added soil improvers, to be used on local agricultural areas, as well as on urban green areas in the district (e.g. urban gardening, green roofs), or in flora-nursery activities.


PyCo project can foster:

•          Employment and local economy generation based on the pushing up of local agro-energetic value chains

•          A multiple stakeholder active engagement contributing to the goal of circular economy (restaurant, markets, citizens, utility companies, investors, workers...)

•          High potential socialization. The project may lead to the realization of the educational process involving visitors, young and elderly people

•          High impact on the reputation of the area through the transmission of wide and deep ethical and environmental values.

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