A shift in the waste sector: LIFE GREEN ADAPT increases the resilience of EU waste infrastructure to climate change

The European Union has awarded 3M€ to the LIFE GREEN ADAPT project to increase resilience to climate change of waste infrastructures by the application of blue-green infrastructures

The European Union has awarded 3M€ to the LIFE GREEN ADAPT project to increase resilience to  climate change of waste infrastructures by the application of blue-green infrastructures.

 To reach climate targets, industries need to accelerate the transition towards a climate-resilient,  resource efficiency, low-carbon, and circular economy. Starting from July 2021, the 42 months LIFE  GREEN ADAPT project will increase the resilience of EU waste infrastructures to climate change by  the application of green and nature-based solutions. 

The project will focus on landfills as a potential source of severe pollution episodes when impacted  by extreme weather events by demonstrating the potential of blue-green infrastructures (BGI) and  ecosystem-based approaches. LIFE GREEN ADAPT will demonstrate the ability of BGI to manage flash  flooding and run-off caused by heavy rainfall and prevent fires and explosions caused by droughts  and unusual heat waves.  

The LIFE GREEN ADAPT achieve this through (i) the development of novel bio-technosoils made of  different wastes from the landfill to stabilise, recover and increase the soil quality by regulating  nutrient supply and improving soil structure; and (ii) the engineering and construction of a set of  innovative treatment wetlands for landfill polluted leachate and run-off water will deliver quality  water, enhancing water reuse (e.g., for landfill irrigation) or discharge into natural courses. All the  solutions developed in the project will be implemented at an industrial demonstration site located in  the North-West of Spain to validate the potential of the BGI and ecosystem-based approaches and  verify their performance under a real-scale landfill scenario. LIFE GREEN ADAPT will also support the  transition to a resource-efficient and low-carbon economy by reducing water consumption and  green-house gas emissions in the waste sector.  

Replicability and transferability will be key aspects of the LIFE GREEN ADAPT project. It will involve a  multi-level governance analysis, vulnerability risks tools and innovation workshops. These will  engage various key stakeholders, including potential end-users, policy makers and investors, and  address the co-creation of the solutions developed during the length of the project so they are fit for  purpose.  

The success of the project will be ensured by a multidisciplinary and international consortium  integrated by 7 partners based in Spain, Denmark, Netherlands and Slovenia and led by the AIMEN  in Spain. XILOGA, the one of the main Galician companies for the management of non-hazardous  waste, will be the adopter of LIFE GREEN ADAPT solutions (end-user) and will commercialise the bio technosoils to other waste managers, landfill owners or public authorities interested in waste  valorisation and soil bioremediation. These will be: LIMNOS, a company dedicated to the  development of eco-remediation solutions for environmental restoration and protection, that will  commercialise BGI design and engineering; FACTOR, an international group specialised in innovative  and sustainable solutions, calculation of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change vulnerability  studies, will provide risk and vulnerability assessment services to public authorities in charge of  waste/water infrastructures and utilities interested in implementing BGI; ISLE, a global and  independent technology and innovation consultancy firm specialising in cleantech and business 

consulting, that will offer BGI solutions brokerage and matchmaking services to BGI developers to  accelerate co-development and market uptake of their solutions; AIMEN, Universitat Politècnica de  Catalunya and Aarhus University will benefit from including the IP generated in their IP portfolio to  exploit it through the optimal business model (e.g., licensing) defined in the exploitation and  business strategy of LIFE GREEN ADAPT and will use knowledge developed during LIFE GREEN ADAPT  in new R&I activities and training/education.  

The consortium is ready to contribute to the shift towards a climate-resilient, resource efficient and  low-carbon economy, aligned to the European Circular Economy Action Plan, Green Deal  Communication, EU strategy on adaptation to climate change and Roadmap to a Resource Efficient  Europe, among others.  

Ana Pascual Formoso (AIMEN), LIFE GREEN ADAPT project coordinator said: 

LIFE GREEN ADAPT represents an important step towards to make Europe more climate resilient on  Adaptation to Climate Change. The approach proposed in the project for increasing the landfill´s  climate resilience is based on a combination of technology according to Blue-Green Infrastructures and  ecosystem-based solutions. In addition, this system will be able to treat approximately 20,000 m3 of  landfill leachate and 1,300 m3 of rainwater harvested and to stabilize 0.2 ha reducing greenhouse gas  emissions up to 92% (CO2 eq).” 

Víctor Toca Achurra (XILOGA), President of the TOYSAL GROUP said: 

LIFE GREEN ADAPT project will allow us to carry out Xiloga’s waste treatment plant to a more  sustainable and resilient future.” This will be done by “.. adapting our facility to the circular economy  through the formulation and application of bio-technosoils, generated from mainly organic waste as  fertile substrate to stabilize and revegetate our landfill and enable the regeneration of degraded  areas, the purification of wastewater through different lagoons and plants integrated into nature,  while ensuring stability and optimal management of the landfill by monitoring multiple parameters,  contributing with this innovative project to the fight against climate change“. 

Urša Brodnik (LIMNOS), said: 

We are glad to be part of the LIFE GREEN ADAPT project, as Limnos is committed to the development  and deployment of nature-based solutions for wastewater treatment and mitigation of pollution. The  used approach within the project is inspired and supported by the nature and builds on cross-sectoral  and interdisciplinary knowledge. The treatment wetlands for leachate treatment as part of the LIFE  GREEN ADAPT demo site will strengthen climate resilience, reconsider the local water circle, and utilize  the multipurpose character of the green approach.” 

Inês Ferreira (FACTOR), said: 

Landfills are particularly sensitive to climate change stressors especially to heatwaves, floods and  droughts since they are usually open-aired and exposed to these factors. LIFE GREEN ADAPT will  propose recommendations and lines of action to reduce landfills vulnerability to these stressors  based on an analysis of the resilience achieved by the measures implemented in the demonstration  site, and on an estimation of the economic costs of climate change impacts on the landfill.” 

Prof. Blanca Antizar (ISLE), LIFE GREEN ADAPT Chair of Innovation Board said: 

LIFE GREEN ADAPT exploitation and business strategy plan for a fast adoption of its innovative  climate change adaptation technologies into the market will increase landfill infrastructure life span,  resilience to flooding, droughts and spontaneous fires, save freshwater consumption and reduce 

greenhouse gas emissions, recover waste and save on costs associated with landfill leachates  external treatment. We will align with the EU Green Deal and embrace a circular economy scenario  to be replicated at EU level and beyond.” 

Dr. Jordi Morató (UPC), Director of UNESCO Chair on Sustainability said:  

LIFE GREEN ADAPT is a great opportunity to adopt Nature-Based Solutions for the waste sector in  alignment with climate change, resilience and circular economy action plans from EU Strategy. A  holistic approach based on Life Cycle Assessment including the evaluation of social, economic,  technical and environmental impact will be developed to validate the best suitable waste appropriate  technologies. Molecular microbiology tools will be utilized to validate the design of innovative  treatment wetlands.” 

Dr. Carlos A. Arias (Aarhus University), said: 

LIFE GREEN ADAPT is a challenging project, where the consortium will establish state of the art  Nature-Based Solutions to improve climate change adaptation by enhancing adaptive capacity,  enhancing resilience and mitigate the effects of climate change. The adaptations proposed by the  consortium will establish demonstration cases for the treatment of polluted waters to improve the  quality and to manage runoff peaks while reducing greenhouse gas emissions before discharge to  natural waters and to recover resources that are commonly neglected. For its novelty and the proven  capacity of the technologies to be established, the project has the potential of becoming an example  to follow and a reference for sites with similar challenges. Aarhus University and particularly the  Aquatic Biology group, will participate in all the actions of the project and is looking forward to the  developments of the project.” 

For more information, please do not hesitate to contact us. 


The LIFE GREEN ADAPT project has received funding from the LIFE Programme of the European  Union under grant agreement No LIFE20 CCA/ES/001795 


Ana Pascual Formoso, AIMEN – LIFE GREEN ADAPT project coordinator 

Tel: +34 98634400 | E-mail: apascual@aimen.es 

Luz Herrero Castilla, AIMEN – LIFE GREEN ADAPT project director 

Tel: +34 986344000 | E-mail: lherrero@aimen.es 

Natasha Giroux, ISLE Utilities – LIFE GREEN ADAPT communication leader 

Tel: +44 7999 491919 | E-mail: natasha.giroux@isleutilities.com

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