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WP 4: Socioeconomic barriers and decision support


Photo: Valborg Kvakkestad

In work package 4, we work on socioeconomic challenges related to recycling and aim at proposing a decision support tool for users and authorities

The aim of this work package is twofold:

1) Explore socioeconomic barriers for demand for and supply of waste-based fertiliser products, and

2) propose a framework to describe and compare waste-based fertiliser products in terms of their quality and impacts on the environment as a decision support for users and authorities.

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Different bioresources, which can be recycled or used in different ways. From left to right: Separated manure, biogas digestate, rape seeds, algae from the sea and fish sludge. Photo: Anette Tjomsland

Farmer demand and acceptance of waste-based fertiliser products are examined by farm visits and interviews of strategically selected users and non-users of waste-based fertiliser products in the regions Akershus and Østfold.

The interviews include questions around digestate, pelleted fish sludge, struvite, separated manure and sewage-sludge based products.

Producer barriers are studied by qualitative interviews with producers and potential producers of waste-based fertiliser products to identify economic, institutional and eventually mental barriers.

Click here for preliminary results after interviews with farmers

Institutional and political possibilities and barriers are analysed by employing a document analysis to identify the rationale behind regulations, laws and policy instruments, combined with informant interviews with central policymakers and enforcement authorities.

We will also go one step behind the issue of how to increase the use of waste-based fertiliser products in terms of analysing why increasing quantities of nutrient-rich waste is produced, and examine the increasing tendency to solve environmental problems by technical solution.   

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What is the environmental impact of products produced with waste-based fertilisers? Photo: Lars Sandved Dalen

We further aim at proposing a framework to characterise waste-based fertiliser products in terms of their potential environmental impact as well as other quality parameters in order to inform authorities and users through a product quality labelling. This work will be started in January 2020.

Qualitative methods will be employed to find what information is relevant for authorities, including environmental impacts from the waste-based fertiliser value chain.

The results from the supply and demand analysis will feed into the development of guidelines for product labelling to support both authorities and users.

Impact assessment of waste-based fertiliser products will be examined by performing a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to estimate the environmental impacts of selected waste-based fertiliser products.

The results on the environmental impacts will be of particular relevance for authorities and may inform the use of incentives as it allows a fair comparison of alternative products.

We will also evaluate different LCA tools for estimating environmental impacts of waste-based fertiliser products.