Greece produces more than 4.5 million tons of residential and commercial urban waste annually with commercial and industrial waste steadily increasing. This is equivalent to 440 kilograms per person. FYROM on the other hand, produces more than 750ktons of urban waste equivalent of around 350kg/person. At the area of question only 5-6% of waste is recycled in the Greek part, where on the other side of the borders is about 1%. In both regions no treatment or use of organic waste is made; all the bio-waste is led to the landfills. Apart from urban waste, both regions are characterized by large extent of agricultural activities which produce large quantities of agro-waste but also important quantities of manure from animal breeding (estimated at 100ktons/year in Florina district and 70ktons/year in Bitola and Novitsi district areas). Again, no special treatment or exploitation of that material is made. Apart from some quantities of residues like straw, that is used in the form of silage for animal feeding, all other organic material is either burnt or partly used as fertilizer (in the case of animal waste).
On the other hand, the ‘users’ of biowaste e.g. fodder, district heating, bioenergy, fertilizer, greenhouses etc. companies and agricultural processing businesses are very much interested to find and use those wastes either as a raw material or as a fuel to their activities.
Industrial Symbiosis (IS) is an innovative approach that brings together companies from all business sectors with the aim of improving cross industry resource efficiency through the commercial trading of materials, energy and water and sharing assets, logistics and expertise. In order to achieve this, a powerful technological tool will be developed that can manage the waste flows (characterized by types, locations, volumes and seasonality) in relation with the costs of acquisition and transportation, also taking into account the environmental burden, to provide accountable bioenergy networks and increase cross-industry resource efficiency. Symbiosis capitalizes the knowledge on symbiotic practices (eSymbiosis), the Symbiosis bioenergy network in Thessaly (AI4B- www.ai4b.gr/), the biomass processing routes for regional development (BIOCORE/FP7 on lignocellulosic biomass, GABE project for the biomass exploitation in CBC area) and a long list of models and knowledge available on processing paths.
By changing behavior and common practices against wastes and turning waste into a resource, SYMBIOSIS offers a key to a circular economy in the CBC project area. The objectives and targets set in the 7th Environment Action Plan, are the key drivers of SYMBIOSIS project for the improvement of waste management, stimulate innovation in recycling, promote trade and use of bio-waste, limit the waste lead to landfills, and create incentives to change consumer behaviour.
SYMBIOSIS promotes re-manufacturing, reuse and recycle, and transforms one industry’s waste to another’s raw material and/or fuel, to pave the way for a more circular economy for the regions, where waste is eliminated and resources are used in an efficient and sustainable way.The direct beneficiaries of Symbiosis project will be the ‘producers’ and ‘users’ of bio-wastes that include a large number of companies and agro-industries inside the cross-border area. The common platform of SYMBIOSIS project will meet the ‘offer’ with the ‘demand’ of bio waste creating synergies and business opportunities providing new solution for exploitation of bio-waste. Scope is the real matching of those companies and the sign of cooperation agreements among them. Moreover, the local authorities responsible for waste management will conduct pilot testing for the exploitation of urban and agro-waste and will develop their Action Plans for bio-waste management and separate treatment. Last but not least, experts will conduct studies on the environmental and economic impact of the project to the participated regions.