Urban Biocycles paper: the application of circular economy principles to transform organic waste into a source of value, to restore natural capital.
Urban Biocycles is a new scoping paper launched by Ellen MacArthur Foundation, on March 28th in Brussels. The paper is produced in collaboration with the World Economic Forum as part of Project MainStream*, and focuses on the significant volume of organic matter flowing through urban environments and highlights potential opportunities to capture that value.
It focuses on the potential of the significant volume of organic waste flowing through the urban environment. Organic waste, from municipal solid waste streams and wastewater from sewage systems, is traditionally seen as a costly economic and environmental problem. The paper draws on case studies from the US and Europe to explore the idea that designing more effective recovery and processing systems can reverse this equation, turning organic waste into a source of value and helping to restore natural capital.
The aim is to highlight the opportunities to capture value, in the form of the energy, nutrients, and materials embedded in these flows, through the application of circular economy principles.
Organic waste – from the organic fraction of municipal solid waste streams and wastewater that flows through sewage systems – is traditionally seen as a costly problem in economic and environmental terms.
This 36-pages paper explores the idea that the equation can be reversed by designing more effective recovery and processing systems to turn organic waste into a source of value and contribute to restoring natural capital.
*The World Economic Forum and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation launched Project MainStream in 2014. This multi-industry, global initiative serves as the umbrella for this paper. The project is led by the chief executive officers of seven global companies: Averda, Tarkett, Royal DSM, Ecolab, Philips, Suez, and Veolia.
source: Ellen McArthur Foundation