Circular Leuven with the Resource Hub

Start date
January
2021
Status
Lead
stad Leuven
partners
UCLL, Werecircle, SAAMO, Leuven 2030, ILVO, CityDepot
ThemES
Consumption, Circular

In Europe, a city dweller generates about 505 kg of waste on average. About half of this is organic waste that can be converted into products that can be reused again locally in the city*. This includes kitchen waste from households, but also waste from restaurants, parks and gardens. The Leuven Resource Hub aims to group partners in an urban ecosystem where food surpluses and other waste streams are upgraded to resources instead of simply being destroyed. From the sustainable collection of waste to the packaging-free marketing of products, the Resource Hub is taking big steps towards a circular Leuven.

Your contact person

Jessie Van Couwenberghe
Programme manager circular Leuven
jessie.vancouwenberghe@leuven.be
Caroline Huyghe
Programme manager sustainable and healthy eating
info@leuven2030.be

Who takes part?

Who are all the partners in the project?

Lead
stad Leuven
partners
UCLL, Werecircle, SAAMO, Leuven 2030, ILVO, CityDepot

Role of Leuven 2030?

In this breakthrough project we assume the following role(s):

Project partner

Place in the Roadmap?

This breakthrough project is part of the following programmes of the Roadmap:

How does it work?

We're working towards a blueprint for (mid-sized) cities to develop an operational and business model consisting of impact entrepreneurs who work with local resources through sustainable urban logistics. The operation of the Leuven Resource Hub will be built around 4 pillars:

  • Carbon-free collection of food surpluses and separated waste streams in the city to bring them to a central hub.
  • Establishment of a central hub where residual streams are made available to local parties as resources. We also want to provide R&D and product development support.
  • Marketing and distribution of processed products in the form of return logistics.
  • Creation of a central meeting and experience destination in Leuven for citizens and entrepreneurs around the themes of food and circularity.

To achieve this, we will assemble a consortium of partners after exploratory talks. Together with Dutch parties the municipality of Oss, de Kracht van New Business Oss and HAS Hogeschool, we're currently working on an Interreg application that should provide the necessary support.At the same time, we're looking for a suitable location for the hub and we are already building a network of interested entrepreneurs.

Jan
2021
Jan
2021

Mapping and survey of stakeholders, market survey

Feb
2021
Feb
2021

Development of internal and external support

May
2021
May
2021

Assembly of consortium and Interreg application

Jan
2022
Jan
2022

Search for location, further development ofentrepreneurs' network

Jan
2021
Jan
2021

Mapping and survey of stakeholders, market survey

Development of internal and external support

Feb
2021
Feb
2021
May
2021
May
2021

Assembly of consortium and Interreg application

Search for location, further development ofentrepreneurs' network

Jan
2022
Jan
2022

Why is this project important?

If you look at the complete picture of Leuven's emissions (and thus include the so-called scope 3 emissions), you will see that next to buildings and mobility, food accounts for the largest part. At the same time, annual food loss in Belgium is estimated at 3.6 million tonnes, or 345 kg per person per year**. Other figures show that a city dweller in Europe is responsible for about 505 kg of urban waste on average, half of which is organic waste*. If we can (re)use these food surpluses and waste streams more effectively, we can significantly reduce Leuven's emissions. And that is the Resource Hub's aim.

*Municipal waste statistics, Eurostat
**Kansendossier Circulaire Economie België, Rijksdienst Voor Ondernemend Nederland

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The path of the past couple of months

May
2021

Building on previous experiences, a consortium of partners from the existing network is assembled. UCLL, Werecircle, SAAMO, Leuven 2030, ILVO and CityDepot join. Together with Dutch partners the municipality of Oss, de Kracht van New Business Oss and HAS Hogeschool, we decide to submit an Interreg application. The deadline is March 31st, 2022.

March
2021

SAAMO Vlaams-Brabant, site leader in the Roadmap to 2050 of the goal to reuse food surpluses, identifies Leuven as one of four locations in the province for a physical hub where food surpluses are to be centralised, redistributed and processed.

February
2021

To put the food strategy into practice, the EcoFoodMap is developed: a digital tool that maps the local food system and connects stakeholders. As a start, the EcoFoodMap shows dozens of indicators that describe Leuven's food system. The tool will be further developed in the coming years.

April
2020

Not everyone has equal access to sustainable and healthy food. COVID-19 has exacerbated that imbalance. In response, Robin Food is set up, an initiative by Rikolto and four partners which turns surplus food from auctions or farmers into tasty and healthy juices, soups and sauces. These are subsequently sold through regular distribution channels but are also distributed to vulnerable groups. Robin Food is a striking example of what can be done when the right partners in the food network join forces, gives impetus to the ideas around the Resource Hub and provides a first experience of collecting, processing and redistributing food surpluses.

January
2018

Through the participation of an extensive network, Leuven's food strategy 'Voeding Verbindt' ('Nutrition Connects') comes to life. It pays particular attention to preventing food loss and reusing surpluses. The whole strategy is incorporated in the Roadmap of Leuven 2030 which shows the way to a climate-neutral city and is included in the city council's long-term plan. The ambition to launch an urban distribution platform for food surpluses in Leuven in 2022 is part of this strategy from the onset.

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