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Promotion of sustainable energy communities contributing collectively to biomethanisation of organic food waste as a decentralised renewable energy source for Europe by exploiting the existing built (RE-WISE)

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The proposed action aims at promoting a new integrated practice for the decentralized (district) production of electricity and heat from biogas, where the biogas is produced through anaerobic co-digestion of organic food waste in district wastewater treatment plants equipped with a primary clarifier and a sludge digestor, and the organic food waste is conveyed to the district wastewater treatment plant through the existing built environment such as the drain and sewerage systems after having been ground through food waste disposers. The proposed action builds on the conscious adoption of food waste disposers in households for the disposal of the organic food waste, with the objective to build up Sustainable Energy Communities boosting civil wastewater with ready biodegradable organic load, in order to increase the production of biogas in district wastewater treatment facilities, wherever organisational, infrastructural, socio-economic and geographical conditions render this model more favourable than other waste management practices.


  • Increase in biogas production from anaerobic co-digestion of household organic food waste at WWTPs equipped with primary clarifier, of up to 77% for a penetration rate of domestic food waste disposers of 100%;
  • Reduction in CO2 emissions associated to the reduction from twice-weekly collection and transportation routes of biodegradable Municipal Solid Waste to weekly or bi-weekly routes;
  • Cost savings associated to collection, transportation, source separation, and other waste management practices such as specifically applied in local administrations;
  • A win-win opportunity for 1) citizens as responsible producers of organic food waste, 2) municipalities benefitting from savings in transportation of Municipal Solid Waste, as well as in practices such as kerbside collection or source-separated collection, as far as the biodegradable fraction of Municipal Solid Waste is concerned, and 3) service providers in wastewater management gaining financial incomes from increased production of biogas to be used as a renewable energy source.

Lessons learned

  • The model has been widely promoted by the Consortium Partners at European level, in particular a large number of very interested SECs has been contacted and made aware of the chances given by the model, together with a complete scheme for implementation and timing for being, most of them are taking into account the possibility of implementing Re-Wise.
  • There is still a very important on-going activity with Lyonnaise Des Eaux, for the implementation of Re-Wise model in Valenciennes (France). The implementation scheme foresees the community as a pilot test, once they’ll get the evidence of benefits, the model will be extended to the whole region;
  • We finally underline the very important need for exploiting Internet, even for any further improvement or prosecution of the project, since most of the real SECs where the model could be implemented, started the cooperation with the Re-Wise Team by approaching the website. Last updated: 07.10.10

Partners and coordinator

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Contact point: 
Stefano Carosio


Key documents

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In brief

01/11/2007 to 30/04/2010
Contract number: 

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