Building an international competence centre
Reststoffenunie is an important partner for KWR and the water companies in the effort to develop the market for water cycle residuals. All these partners also share international ambitions.
When one says “reuse of water sector residuals”, one says “Reststoffenunie”. Since 1995, it has developed the markets for the residual products from drinking water production. “We consult with potential customers and establish their precise needs,” says director Hay Koppers. “But we do more. To bring the supplier and customer together, one has to have good supply-chain management. This includes ensuring the responsible processing, storage and transportation of the reusable residuals.”
Advising and lobbying
It is obviously important that the water companies and researchers know the residuals’ customers and understand their requirements. For example, the lime pellets used in the paper industry must as a rule be virgin white and not contain anything other than calcite. “And struvite cannot be used in agriculture just like that,” says Koppers. “One needs to have permission, under the terms of the Manure Law, to do so. The legislation on waste products is highly complex. Because we’re very familiar with it, we advise companies about its application. We’re also trying to point out to politicians where the constraints lie in the current legislation – constraints that get in the way of the implementation of sustainable solutions for residuals.”
To promote the reuse of residuals, not only in the Netherlands but worldwide, KWR, in collaboration with the International Water Association (IWA), is building a competence centre for resource recovery – a centre for innovation entirely dedicated to this theme.
© 2017 KWR Watercycle Research Institute