How can the municipality of Ameland design an effective organic waste management process focused on the anaerobic digester?
The municipality of Ameland will construct an anaerobic digester on Ameland, to produce biogas out of sewage sludge and organic waste. To make the anaerobic digester viable, it is essential to have an effective organic waste management method whereby the costs and benefits outweigh each other. The main question that arose from this problem definition is: How can the municipality of Ameland design an effective organic waste management process focused on the anaerobic digester?
Therefore, this research aims at designing an effective organic waste management method for inhabitants and businesses. Since the organic waste generated by tourists is not of sufficient quality to be used for the anaerobic digester. The various concepts discussed in this work were compared by using an operationalization that contained the following variables: economic-, environmental-, legal- and social aspects.
The first sub-question depicts the organic waste management method that is currently used by the municipality of Ameland. Next to that, it describes the wished-for future state that the organization aims to achieve. Those situations have been outlined by means of Appendix IV – GAP analysis; it appeared that there was no decision made on the collection and transportation of the organic waste. It also emerged that the kitchen waste did not have the required liquid state of matter. In addition, Appendix V – stakeholder analysis showed the stakeholders that need to support the project to make it successful.
After that, the possible organic waste management concepts are discussed in sub-question two. These concepts were designed based on the theory of Bernstad & la Cour Jansen and the semi-structured interviews held for the benchmark. The three concepts that derived from this were the collection and transportation through a garbage truck, food waste disposer or vacuum system. Lastly, the third-sub questions compares the three organic waste management concepts by means of the aforementioned operationalized variables. Appendix VI – multi-criteria analysis has been used to make the comparison more structured.
The data collection methods used for this work are five semi-structured interviews for the benchmark. Furthermore, quantitative and qualitative literature has been reviewed to answer the sub-questions. The research groups used are the municipality of Ameland and experts in the field of organic waste management.
To conclude, it is advised to implement the concept of the garbage truck. This concept has the highest score on the economic-, environmental- and legal aspects. However, the food waste grinder concept might be an interesting option when permitted by Dutch law. On short-term, it is recommended to do follow-up research to find out more about the food waste grinder. Moreover, to communicate closely with the stakeholders and Bareau about the developments. After the preparation phase, the mid-term recommendation is to decide on the concept to be implemented. Lastly, the long-term recommendation is to evaluate the process by utilizing a life cycle assessment or questionnaire amongst the waste generators. In addition, to monitor the process to prevent unnecessary costs.