As one of the major pillars of the CONTRA project a total of seven case studies are conducted to further develop existing reuse options and to explore new and innovative recycling possibilities. Against this background, on 26 October 2019 a pilot facility was built under case study 6b- FERTIWRACK. The case study is led by Gdańsk University of Technology (GUT) in close cooperation with the wastewater treatment plant Swarzewo (Poland), that gives the opportunity to test both wrack as a co-composting material with different proportions as well as technology-based on natural solutions namely treatment wetland technology.
The pilot facility is located on the area of the wastewater treatment plant in Swarzewo. Within the case study 6b different forms of beach wrack will be treated in the reed bed system to obtain product-high nutrient fertilizer. So far, this technology was used mainly to process various types of sewage sludge. In wastewater the natural processes of dewatering and stabilisation take place. These processes occur without the use of additional chemicals, which makes this solution environmentally friendly. The GUT team expects similar effects as in the case of sewage sludge – dewatering, in order to reduce weight and volume and stabilization – reduce rooting and unpleasant smell of decomposing material. Currently, the deposit has been watered with treated wastewater from stabilisation ponds in order to provide appropriate conditions for rooting of reed. Moreover, two beach wrack supplies are planned for this year.
Lessons learnt from this case study will fed later into the overall report “Case Studies for development and demonstration of innovative recycling solutions for beach wrack”, a document of practical findings, to inform and build stakeholder ownership of recycling options.