Sustainable and Circular Organic Waste and Sargassum Management on Bonaire (BonCirc)
In this project circular approaches to sustainable management of organic waste streams in the Dutch Caribbean, using Bonaire as a case study will be developed. At Bonaire, organic waste is collected jointly with other waste and mostly landfilled. This causes GHG emissions, nutrient leakage and eutrophication of natural environments and the coastal habitat. The biomass collected from the Sargassum seaweed influxes, that cause severe environmental damage in the coastal ecosystems when not harvested nearshore, will be incorporated to the waste streams. Organic residues and wastes (food waste, agricultural residues, manure, garden waste, Sargassum, etc.) will be mapped and assessed in terms of amounts over the year, composition, current uses and potential uses, circularity of current uses and expected development over time. Sargassum biomass, that currently is disposed of, will be valorised with the other organic wastes thereby creating (more) circular value-chains that contribute to regenerating natural (marine) habitats and agriculture. Because of the diversity of wastes, several applications will be studied. Depending on the content in heavy metals, or other toxic components of the organic wastes, “clean” and “polluted“ conversion systems will be designed. This will avoid that polluted organic wastes enter the feed and food chain or end up on agricultural land (compost) or nature. Environmental, social and economic impacts will be assessed for the value chains. In addition, knowledge exchange will be realised with other Caribbean (Dutch and French) islands by joint events (workshops, meetings, etc) to maximize the impacts and efficiency of the project.
This proposal is a follow up of the LNV sponsored project LWV19070 carried out in 2020. In this previous work, knowledge on biology, applications and impacts of Sargassum blooms in the Dutch Caribbean was described and a plan was defined to reduce negative impacts and improve sustainability on the island. In the proposed project the Wageningen Research groups involved in the study have teamed up with Dutch businesses and local stakeholders involved in agriculture and organic waste management, production and use to develop and start implementation of more circular and environmentally friendly uses of organic wastes and Sargassum. The Bonaire Department of Agriculture, livestock farming and Fisheries, (LVV), the waste collecting company of Bonaire (Selibon), Punto Blanku Chicken farm (supplying most eggs on Bonaire) and the Water and Energy company in Bonaire (WEB) are partners of the project. Because of the multidisciplinary approach needed to reach the goals of the project, several Wageningen Research groups are involved: Marine Research (WMR), Economic Research (WEcR), Plant Research (WPR) and Food and Biobased Research (WFBR) (coordinator). The lead applicant, All Optimal BV (Development of anaerobic digestion plants) has unique experience on organic waste and Sargassum biomass digestion from previous work in the French Caribbean and the company Together for the better good will explore possible business development for the new processes.