The LIFE project proposes the development of a prototype to automatically separate the organic fraction from the packaging, thus increasing the amount of vegetal fraction that can be reused.

Another key objective of the project is to design, prove and validate an action plan to make use of the vegetal food surplus generated in food retailing by transforming it into animal feed. The proposed approach involves demonstration of an innovative methodology to recover vegetal food wastes in a hygienic way.

The project expects to achieve a recycling rate of more than 70% of the generated vegetal wastes, which is more than 7 000 tonnes/yr of fruit and vegetal waste, using a methodology that can be easily transferred to other European countries with a similar environmental problem.

Other objectives include:

  • A complete inventory of the vegetal wastes generated in the ACBC;
  • Characterisation of the vegetal wastes (including nutritional and sanitary parameters);
  • Definition of conditions and technology needed for vegetal meal production from waste vegetables;
  • Development of an action plan to valorise vegetal wastes and produce meal for animal feed production;
  • A full-scale demonstration of the new proposed management practices for vegetal fractions generated at wholesale markets, public markets, supermarkets and by the food industry; and
  • Inclusion of the new raw material in the European Commission’s catalogue for animal feed.

Expected results:

  • Reduction by 70% of the current organic waste volume managed at incinerators and dumps;
  • Reuse of 7 000 tonnes of vegetal fractions as raw material for producing feed;
  • Modification of the waste management plan of the Basque Country to enhance the new proposed management for vegetal fraction by-products; and
  • The development of legislation to restrict the dumping of vegetal food fractions from the food industry and distribution into dumps and other urban solid waste deposit installations.

Partners: Basque Government, AZTI, Tecnalia Research and Innovation, Elika.

Financing: European Commission. LIFE

Further information: