In this way, the waste mountain in Bergisches Land should shrink

Circular economy network
This is how the mountain of waste in Bergisches Land should shrink

This Thursday is Earth Overgrowth Day. Means: Humanity uses reserves when it comes to resource consumption for the rest of the year. According to the Bergisches Waste Management Association BAV, the material cycle and the “metabolone” design offer savings potential.

Humanity now extracts 74 percent more natural resources from the Earth than it can regenerate in a year. For this, humans would need 1.74 Earths. Clever minds have figured it out, which is why this year’s “Earth Overgrowth Day” falls on July 28th.

The Bergischer Waste Management Association (BAV) wants to help bring this day back to fall. “We urgently need to work even harder to protect our world worth living in, especially for future generations,” says BAV Managing Director Monika Lichtinghagen-Wirths. “The boundaries of our fragile living system have been exhausted, and not least with regard to the exploitation of our natural resources.” Resource efficiency and sustainable performance are closely related and can help overcome the main challenges, especially in terms of a circular economy of the future, says the head of BAV, who is working on solutions for the Metabolon project.

The Metabolon Institute, run by BAV and TH Cologne, deals with issues related to the theme “From residue to raw material”. The material and energy use of alleged industrial, commercial and private sector waste is investigated here – not only in the laboratory, but also through semi-industrial standard technical systems for practical application and testing in large-scale systems. An example of a process is the thermochemical treatment of waste or the energy-efficient and resource-efficient treatment of various types of process water. According to BAV, it is important to achieve the highest possible recycling of raw materials and waste materials.

The results obtained in the research can be used by companies in the region and thus contribute to the creation of circular value. According to Lichtinghagen-Wirths, “society as a whole” must be considered for the transition from a linear to a circular economy to be successful. This is achieved by numerous knowledge transfer offers in the Metabolon project. From pre-school children through the entire education chain to seniors, TH-Köln offers information and training courses and courses.

Further business expansion at the Metobolon site at the Leppe landfill in Lindlar is being carried out under the regional project 2025 “Bergische Quellenschmiede”. In applied research, a role will be played, among others, by processing mixed construction waste – one of the largest waste fractions of all. In order to transfer the results to the production processes of the region, a network of companies is created, which is dedicated to the idea of ​​creating value in a closed loop.

Incidentally, everyone can contribute to reducing the burden on the environment in everyday life – by avoiding waste, sorting it and properly disposing of it, so that the recyclable materials can be re-introduced into the material cycle. BAV supports this with its waste advice.

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