Waste is a growing concern for society. In the EU alone, around 3 billion tonnes of waste are generated every year. The negative effects are increased by collateral effects such as pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and significant losses of raw materials. The composition of waste is another concern, since the waste mix is changing and the volume of hazardous materials is increasing.
Obviously, the best approach to handle all these issues is to generate as least waste as possible. The second best approach is to recycle and reuse the waste to the maximum threshold. Regulatory efforts are moving waste management towards these directions, requiring changes to the classical waste management operations.
This transformation represents a growing business opportunity for waste management industry, currently employing around two million people and representing around 1.1% of the EU’s GDP. The EU has ambitious targets in terms of recycling aiming for 70% of waste recycling, which should create around 500,000 new jobs across Europe.
As initial starting point, the following topics, where space-based services in combination with terrestrial technologies could provide added value over current practices and operations, have been identified by relevant user communities as of high interest:
- Logistics and recycling of commercial / industrial / domestic waste
- Biomass / anaerobic digestion and greenhouse emissions
- Landfill issues and illegal waste dumping
However, the applicants to this tender will be free to select any other waste related topic where they see a business opportunity for sustainable integrated applications and services.