Wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) require an urgent transition from a linear to a circular economy operation/design concept with a consequent resource recovery and more sustainable waste management. Natural resources have to be preserved, and wastes have to become an opportunity for recovering resources and materials (water reuse, energy, sludge reuse). However, the transition toward a circular economy is a complex and long process due to the existence of technical, economic, social and regulatory barriers. These existing barriers are critical challenges for a modern and sustainable WWTP concept. The recovery of resources must be considered a strategic target from the earliest process-design phase. In this context, the European Union’s Horizon 2020 project “Achieving wider uptake of water-smart solutions—WIDER UPTAKE” aims to overcome the existing barriers (technological, regulatory, organizational, social and economic) toward the transition from a linear to a circular economy model for WWTPs. This study is aimed at increasing the awareness of the existing barriers to a circular economy and summarizes the key contributions of the WIDER UPTAKE project in terms of water reuse, sludge reuse and nutrient recovery.
|Number of pages||18|
|Publication status||Published - 2021|