At the moment the planet is running out of resources to feed its inhabitants, and within the next 20 years the world’s population will increase by 24% to a staggering 9.2 billion. How can the circular economy help to overcome this challenge?

The Earth is already not able to provide us with enough energy, materials, water and food. Scientific research shows that we have crossed our planetary boundaries and have crossed the red line. Now, the Earth can provide resources – in a sustainable manner – for the first 9 months of the population’s annual demand. Natural resources for the remaining 3 months are used up and ecological deficits are created rapidly.
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The Waste Transformers create decentralized, nutrient and energy hubs by converting residual waste streams into energy, whilst recovering (on-site) the natural resources and water in the waste.

The Waste Transformers empower local communities to leverage their waste for positive change. Using smart business models, they do this in a way that is financially attractive today. It is a small-scale, high impact approach that is revolutionizing the way we deal with organic waste.

It is of relevance to know that different organic waste streams produce different types of value. Banana peels will naturally produce a higher biomass potential than for example tea leaves. Organic streams can be mixed together to produce an abundance of value.

The Waste Transformers are active in several locations including the Netherlands, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Hong Kong and South America. They are growing very quickly, and are delighted to continuously host several delegations from all over the world, every month with whom we collaborate.



Name: Fosca Poltronieri, Operations Manager
Company: The Waste Transformers
City: Amsterdam
Expertise: Waste to value, Green energy, Circular Economy

“I love the work I do. Because if you have your ‘why’ it is not a job anymore.”

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Wouter ten Velde is owner of a mussel food bar in the Westerpark – a beautiful park in central Amsterdam. The food bar ‘Mossel & Gin’ is a sustainable restaurant that serves locally bred, grown and harvested mussels from the Netherlands.

Wouter and his companion, Josh Selter, who run a sustainable business, had to overcome a big challenge in the past as the city municipality does not collect and recycle biological waste (mussels, vegetables, sauce, etc). Luckily, the problem with waste was solved when the Waste Transformers started their unique project in the Westerpark. They deployed an ‘anaerobic’ digestion machine that converts waste into compost, electricity and even paper.


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With 420 speakers and 675 exhibitors, Barcelona’s Smart City Expo is the largest exhibition about smart cities. More than 18.000 attendees learned about the development of cities and urban areas.

ICT and the Internet of Things (IoT) are the drivers for urban transformation and the backbone of smart cities. ICT is about computers and networks (hardware) and apps (software). IoT is about devices, vehicles and home appliance that are interlinked via internet. An IoT example is the new generation litter-bins with a sensor inside. The sensor informs waste-disposal when the litter-bin is full and need to be emptied.

Smart cities can be defined as an urban area where electronic data collection supply information to improve transport, waste disposal, healthcare, education, governance and other areas to make the city cleaner, safer and more social. In the past the hight of skyscrapers defined the cities prosperity. In the future prosperity is not defined by skyscrapers but by the depth of data and connectivity.
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 The itinerary (roughly planned) depicts the cities that will be visited. However, the itinerary can deviate, depending on the opportunities and offerings from other cities. When a city has great stories to tell but is not ‘on the route’, it still can be visited as a sidetrack of the expedition.

You can see the itinerary below – an estimated 39.000 km.:


Stage 1 – June / September 2018 (12.000 km)

 Amsterdam – Eindhoven – Antwerp – Brussels – Paris – Lyon – Munich – Venice – Milan – Florence – Rome – Napels – Athens – Tirana – Skopje – Zadar – Leibach – Wien – Budapest – Kosice – Krakow – Warsaw

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