Institut de Gestion de l'Environnement et d'Aménagement du Territoire

Brussels Circular Economy Transition (BRUCETRA)


The general aim of this project is to analyze the economic and environmental potential of the waste streams for a transition towards a circular economy model of materials’ management in the Brussels Capital Region (BCR). This means we will identify which combinations of 1) available waste streams, 2) current and future recycling and treatment technologies and 3) modes of entrepreneurship (public, public-private, private) are the most promising in terms of the transition towards a more circular economy model of materials management in the BCR.

In this context the project will start from an overview of all waste streams in the BCR, not only in terms of the type of waste, but also of the origin of waste. A transversal theme of this project is the question whether a region wide waste management should combine domestic and industrial waste streams or not. Would the scale of the material flow through combining domestic and industrial waste give more degrees of freedom in the organization of collection, recycling and treatment or not? Would merging these streams render certain collection, recycling and treatment systems economically and ecologically viable in the region itself?

Although this consideration will be transversal throughout the project, the project will narrow down the type of waste streams along the different work packages (WP). In the first three WPs (current state analysis, benchmarking and metabolic analysis) the general perspective will be used. However, from the forth WP onwards the project will select the most relevant (in terms of technical feasibility, desirability, and economic and environmental performance) flows for further in-depth analysis which will finally result in economically and environmentally optimized collection, recycling and treatment scenarios for BCR. Crucial in this analysis is the system wide approach in which material streams will be monitored as they pass through the city’s economy (urban metabolism).

To attain the general aim of the project, the project sets the following specific objectives, which show the skeleton of the general project approach and which mirror the work package structure of the project.

- Analyze current status (WP1)

o Actor and stakeholder mapping

o Mining and quality control of existing data and data collection methods on the BCR waste streams.

- Benchmarking (WP2)

o Compare the BCR waste and recycling data, waste data collection methods, waste collection methods and waste treatment methods with other cities/regions.

o Benchmark the waste management performance of BCR with other cities/regions.

- Analyze the waste material flow and metabolism of BCR in order to make prospective scenarios (e.g. future recyclable potential, stock-flow relations, …) (WP3)

- Select the most interesting waste streams for valorization potential, based on established rules of thumbs and stakeholder consultation (WP4)

- In depth economic and environmental life cycle analyses of different combinations of the selected waste streams considering (1) different combinations of waste sources (2) alternative colletion scenarios (3) alternative waste treatment technologies/ combined technology chains (WP5)

- Scenario and optimization analyses to identify the most promising sustainable materials’ management options along the abovementioned factors (WP6)

- Provide clear technical, economic and environmental policy recommendations which can support decision making in BCR regarding the transition towards a more circular economy model of materials’ management (WP6).



- KU Leuven Brussels


- Bruxelles Propreté