The SIMIL Programme will enable scientists and local administrations to work together to improve waste Management

This new initiative is part of the Joint Research Center's (JRC) Science Meets Regions programme

The BETA Technology Centre of the University of Vic – Central University of Catalonia (UVic-UCC) is launching SIMIL, a new programme to connect scientists and representatives of the local administration, designed so that they can work together to improve the management of municipal organic waste. Initially, it will focus on central Catalonia, but CT BETA hopes to grow the initiative in the future by reaching more administrations in the territory. SIMIL aims to put local politicians in contact with scientists with experience in this field, in order to facilitate access to knowledge that will help them to improve their decision-making on their own waste collection and treatment model.

Participation in the programme, designed for both council technicians and councillors, will be free of charge and will include various activities over the course of a year. According to Víctor Carbajal, head of Strategic Projects at CT BETA, “through these meetings we want to give independent scientific support to the development of new policies” and he highlights that “bringing scientists closer to the reality of the local political world is also very enriching for entities such as CT BETA”. Registrations to participate can already be made through its website.

SIMIL plans to bring together 24 people from the local world, both technicians and politicians, with scientific research staff, to work together on a programme of activities that is tailor-made and free of charge based on the conversations that take place during the meetings. The programme will involve face-to-face meetings to encourage dialogue, visits to the localities where the challenges are posed and visits to places where innovative solutions have already been applied.

This new initiative is part of the Science Meets Regions programme of the Joint Research Center (JRC), which aims to promote scientific advice for policy-making at local or regional level, and to bring politics and science closer together. It is one of the 9 initiatives chosen at European level by the JRC, which will be carried out during 2023 and which will serve to facilitate access to the most relevant scientific evidence for policy makers and, at the same time, will provide participating scientists with a direct vision of the policy development process.

BETA TC has been working for some time with projects in the field of municipal organic waste management. On the one hand, it coordinates the Med4Waste project, which covers 5 countries in the Mediterranean Region. Med4Waste works to promote innovative practices to prevent and reduce waste generation, promoting circular economy practices and organic waste management. Another example would be alternative methods of community composting with projects such as DECOST, the results of which were presented this March.