FUTURE COMPTA, NOVA Information Management School, Instituto Superior Técnico and 3drivers have teamed up to create an innovative platform, using blockchain technology, which will allow Waste Management Entities to optimize their operation and implement Pay As You Throw (PAYT) systems. The project was one of 10 projects selected by the Carnegie Mellon Program, an international partnership with the prestigious American university, Carnegie Mellon University with the mission of putting Portugal at the forefront of innovation in key areas of the field of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). The project has a funding line of 2.7 million euros from COMPETE 2020 and FCT.
This new platform, “Bee2WasteCrypto“, will allow the quantification, characterization of production and optimization of technologies to be used in waste management, depending on the environmental and service objectives of each managing entity, considering the context in which it operates. Using blockchain technology and a portfolio of cryptocurrencies,it will be possible to implement PAYT-type incentive mechanisms to stimulate good citizen practices, on which the success of any waste management strategy depends.
Reliable information can thus be produced with a view to creating “recycling credits“, a method analogous to carbon credits in use in the energy sector.
In the European Union (EU), an average of 480 kg of municipal solid waste per person is generated each year, of which only 46% are recycled or composted, while a quarter is landfilled. Municipal waste accounts for around 10% of the total waste generated in the EU, but is one of the most complex flows to manage due to its diversified composition, large number of producers and fragmentation of responsibilities.
This is a global challenge, which requires new responses from each of us, which can be induced with innovation and more “urban intelligence”, essential for all Member States to reach the target of 55% of reused and recycled municipal waste by 2025.
For Tiago Andrade, head of digital products at FUTURE COMPTA:“It’s not enough just to recognize that there is no planet B! There is an urgent need to promote more sustainable waste production and separation behaviours. And to do that, we have to look for and implement smarter solutions to reduce this production, rewarding recovery and recycling. This is the rationale for the development of Bee2WasteCrypto, to bring all actors in the production chain, from waste collection and treatment to de facto, to have a real interest in recycling, giving an incentive through the distribution of financial benefits. This is the challenge that everyone in this extended consortium has agreed to develop a technology platform that allows in a simple and intuitive way the management and better optimization of all these flows including the distribution of their remuneration as a central argument to reduce and increase the recovery of waste.”
For Paulo Fernandes, R&DT coordinator of the Bee2WasteCrypto project at FUTURE COMPTA:“the validation of financial operations in real time and their possibility of interaction with multiple waste treatment systems is only possible via blockchain. We are investing deeply in this base technology for FUTURE COMPTA Bee2products. Bee2Waste is the first product to see this technology implemented in a structuring way.”
Bee2WasteCrypto will be the first technological tool to provide a fully integrated solution for designing waste management solutions, from production to transformation, maximizing the economic dimension and minimizing its environmental impact, based on a circular economy philosophy.
For Miguel de Castro Neto, coordinator of NOVA Cidade – Urban Anaytics Lab, who leads the participation of nova information management school in Bee2WasteCrypto,” it is vital to explore the potential of digital transformation to build new approaches to meet the ambition of the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly with regard to sustainable cities and communities and cities (SDGs 11), where we seek to ensure a sustainable, inclusive, resilient and secure future. We have to focus on disruptive technologies, such as blockchain and cryptocurrencies, to improve the efficiency of systems and induce behavior changes in a critical area such as waste.”
Paulo Ferrão, Professor of IST,“considers that the optimization of waste management requires detailed knowledge of the technologies for the collection, processing and recovery of waste, which have to be selected and articulated according to the specificity of the regional distribution of waste production, its composition and its quantity, which makes each system unique, thus justifying its optimization – there are no solutions that serve everyone when we want to meet very demanding goals, such as those that are perspective. This is the time for information technologies to be present in every dimension of waste management, and Bee2WasteCrypto will be a pioneer in this revolution”
Adds António Lorena, Managing Partner of 3drivers,“the waste sector needs a revolution like the one that the energy sector still lives in today. We need tools to optimize systems as a whole, enhancing multi-scale solutions integrated into the region’s urban and industrial context. Bee2WasteCrypto will enable all waste management managers to find the best environmental and economic solutions.”