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Successful Valencia Visit Points To Crucial Work Ahead

25 July 2018

Last week’s visit by the PlastiCircle consortium to the Spanish city of Valencia was another key chapter in the PlastiCircle story. With two technical visits down and one to go, preparations for PlastiCircle’s crucial pilot phases are well under way.


On 17-18 July 2018, the PlastiCircle team conducted a successful technical visit to Valencia, Spain – to the Picassent sorting plant (outside the city), and to the San Marcelino neighbourhood, home of the upcoming PlastiCircle pilot phase in Valencia.


Hosted by project partners Las Naves, the technical visit was a real opportunity to lay the groundwork for the pilot in San Marcelino, where local authorities will pilot PlastiCircle’s innovative solutions in waste collection and transport.


“San Marcelino is a working neighbourhood with diverse demographics, so in that respect it is the perfect place for the pilot phase to take place,” confirmed project co-ordinator César Aliaga.


Located in the south-west of Valencia, San Marcelino is home to just under 10,000 inhabitants spread over 33 km2​, with the first inhabitants having settled as early as 1954. The district has been used for municipal pilot projects before, owing to a favourable demographic and population structure for trial initiatives.


During their visit to the district, the PlastiCircle consortium toured municipal waste collection infrastructure (both permanent and mobile), and fielded questions from local media who were keen to understand both the interest of an international consortium in this corner of Valencia, and the connection between the Valencia pilot and those in Utrecht, the Netherlands, and Alba Iulia, Romania.


For the PlastiCircle project, the technical visit – whether to Utrecht, Valencia or Alba Iulia – is a crucial component of forward planning for the pilot phases. Even at this relatively early stage of the multi-year project, PlastiCircle innovations must be properly explored by the consortium; innovations including “smart” containers, the cloud-platform-connected waste transport system, optical sorting technologies, or even the incentive schemes which will be introduced so that citizens can fully engage in plastic waste collection in their local neighbourhoods.


“Seeing how the existing waste management infrastructure works in this pilot neighborhood is crucial if we are to be able to implement the PlastiCircle approach and improve the quantity and quality of recyclables,” said Axion’s Richard McKinlay.


In an interview with local media, Jan Bloemheuvel of the city of Utrecht said: “It’s good to make the people and citizens of your city aware that plastic needs to be separated; that it needs to be collected in a good way so we can re-use it and avoid using more resources to make new plastic.”


Mr Bloemheuvel added: “It’s also important for people to know what to recycle – what kind of plastic to put in one bin, and what type of plastic we need to put in another bin. People need to be informed about how to do it.”


This Valencia visit was the second of three technical visits undertaken by the PlastiCircle consortium. Following the work in Utrecht and Valencia, the partners will now turn their attention to the technical visit to Romanian pilot city Alba Iulia on 12-13 September 2018.


Further updates will be available on this website and on Twitter via @circ_economy.

PlastiCircle To Visit Key Project Sites In Valencia Visit

9 July 2018

The PlastiCircle project consortium will visit key sites in the Spanish city of Valencia next week, during a highly anticipated technical visit on 17-18 July 2018.


Hosted by local project partners Las Naves and SAV, and notably joined by Valencia-based project co-ordinators ITENE, the PlastiCircle partners are set to put in place vital planning for the forthcoming pilot project in Valencia – one of three pilot projects featured in the innovative PlastiCircle Horizon 2020 project.


Following the June visit to Utrecht in the Netherlands, the PlastiCircle team will now visit a plastic waste sorting plant run by SAV, in addition to an all-important visit to the San Marcelino neighbourhood. This district will be the location of the Valencia pilot project, so early intelligence gathering and an appraisal of on-the-ground conditions will be key for the future success of this phase of the PlastiCircle project.


Additional work onsite will include presentations by project partners SAV, ITENE, PICVISA, Axion, SINTEF, KIMbcn and ICLEI Europe, who will also be holding bilateral meetings with Las Naves to discuss future communications efforts in Valencia (including citizen engagement).


This Valencia visit is the second of three technical visits undertaken by the PlastiCircle consortium. Following the work in Utrecht and Valencia, partners will then turn their attention to a technical visit to Romanian pilot city Alba Iulia in September.


Further updates will be available on this website and on Twitter via @circ_economy.

PlastiCircle’s Dutch Visit Gets Ball Rolling For Pilot Projects

2 July 2018

On 25-28 June 2018, the PlastiCircle consortium undertook its first European ‘technical visit’ to Utrecht in the Netherlands, gathering vital data and intelligence ahead of PlastiCircle’s impending pilot projects in three separate European municipalities.


PlastiCircle kicked off its municipality-focused pilot projects in earnest with a visit to the Dutch city of Utrecht on 25-28 June 2018. The technical visit, combined with the consortium’s latest general partner meeting, was a vital opportunity to see firsthand how PlastiCircle innovations will have a lasting impact on the ground for citizens and plastic sector professionals alike.


The PlastiCircle project will pilot a series of innovations in plastic waste collection, transport, sorting and recycling in three municipalities across the European Union: in Alba Iulia, Romania; in Utrecht, the Netherlands; and in the Spanish city of Valencia.


Technical visits in each city allow for the project partners to lay the groundwork for the respective pilot projects by opening key lines of information sharing, discussions on logistics, and of course by setting important planning priorities with the municipalities in question. In the case of Utrecht, PlastiCircle innovations will be piloted from the beginning of 2020 onwards in one of the city’s neighbourhoods, but the planning begins in earnest with meetings on technology deployment and communications and citizen engagement.


The Utrecht visit featured a number of key activities, notably a tour and discussion session at the Suez plastic packaging sorting plant near Rotterdam, as well as meetings at Utrecht city hall, a visit to a waste collection depot and a whistle-stop tour in a possible pilot neighbourhood.


Eric Velthuizen of Utrecht city council said: “The value of the PlastiCircle project to the city of Utrecht is clear. Although our city is either well advanced or making steady progress in many aspects of plastic waste collection, transport, sorting and recycling, PlastiCircle innovations in these areas can be a real boost to our activities as we deploy cutting edge solutions fit for the city of Utecht.”


Mr Velthuizen added: “It is clear that more efficient treatment of plastic packaging has become a priority at European level, so aside from the improvements this will mean for Utrecht, we are also ready and able to share our expertise so that PlastiCircle can have an impact across the continent.”


The PlastiCircle project consortium will be undertaking more technical visits in 2018: to Valencia on 17-18 July, and to Alba Iulia on 12-13 September. PlastiCircle will provide more updates via this web page and live on Twitter via @circ_economy.