SynchUp! is initiated by REWIN

Post-separation of glass and plastic particles from our food waste

Challenge closes in:

2021-05-21 17:00


How can we remove small glas- and plastic particles from our organic waste?

Renewi Organics collects food waste from restaurants, as well as expired packaged food from supermarkets, for example. We take the food waste from the packaging automatically and combine all streams into a thick soup we call orgamix. This mix serves as the base material for advanced digestion processes, which we use to generate green electricity, BioLNG and compost, among other things. We also develop next-gen products, including bioplastics made from organic waste. 

During the unpacking process, small pieces of plastic, glass and metal make their way into the orgamix, and although we can remove virtually all contaminants with our process, small bits of glass, metal and plastic remain. This causes problems further down the process, e.g. by damaging our pumps. 

We always strive to make the best possible product, which is why we are looking to eliminate the final traces of contaminants from our orgamix, too. And that is where we need your help!

What are we looking for?

We are looking for a smart solution that we do not know yet, preferably from sectors that we are not very familiar with, such as the food industry. We are looking for a solution that we can deploy in one year’s time and that will allow us to process volumes of approx. 30-50 ktonnes per year/per site.  

Some of our key criteria:

  • The ultimate goal is 0.0% contaminants by weight
  • Preferably, the entire solution can be deployed in 1 year.
  • We want to minimise the residuals created as part of our process. 
  • The solution should be scalable to a capacity of 30-50 ktonnes per year. 
  • Preferably, we are looking to install the solution at our 4 Dutch sites as well as our European sites.
  • The solution must comply with all laws and legislation applicable to our sites.
  • It would be ideal if the solution were innovative in our industry and would give us a leading edge.


What aren’t we looking for?

We are not looking for unpacking machines, many of which we have already tried, Nor are we looking for ways to valorise residuals. We are continuously exploring these avenues in other projects and they are beyond the scope of this challenge.


What’s in it for you?

We are happy to develop and test the best solution in a pilot that we invest in together. Orgamix is an important product for us that we produce at 4 sites spread over the Netherlands and Belgium with a total volume approaching 250 ktonnes/year. If the pilot succeeds and the solution works well, we would be happy to deploy it throughout Renewi. Finally, we would also be interested in joining forces to develop and launch more innovations beyond this challenge.


How can BioVoice benefit you?

  • An innovation contract with a launching customer/partner!
  • Funding (€10,000 vouchers, to be spent in the regional ecosystem for e.g. testing, lab and demo facilities, IP consulting, etc.)
  • Coaching and counselling
  • A stage and free publicity
  • Knowledge and contact with experts
  • Access to a network of potential partners & customers, resources and research facilities


The BioVoice programme

BioVoice is an initiative of REWIN West-Brabant, Green Chemistry Campus, the joint Rabobanks of Southwest Netherlands and the province of North Brabant. Dockwize, Impuls Zeeland, Centre of Expertise Biobased Economy and Midpoint Brabant have also joined as implementation partners. Together, we want to give innovative entrepreneurs and up-and-coming biobased/circular talents the space and opportunities to develop and market their idea/product, so as to achieve our common goal: accelerating the transition to a sustainable economy.

BioVoice is made possible by financial contributions from the Regional Deal for Central and Western Brabant, the Province of North Brabant, the Province of Zeeland and Rabobank.  


Conditions of participation

Preferably, the entire solution can be deployed in 1 year. In other words: we would like to physically test the solution as part of a pilot study. We are looking to install the solution at our sites and it must be scalable up to volumes of 30-50 kilotonnes a year. 

We are open to different models of collaboration, depending on the context. If applicable, we would gladly work together to realise multiple innovations.


Your pitch (max 6 pages / 18 slides)

  • Concept description: Describe your concept in as much detail as possible.
  • Pilot description: Please provide a brief description of what it will take to prototype and/or pilot and what you will need from us to do so.
  • Team description: Provide a brief description of the company and team that plans to work on the pilot.


There are no formal requirements for the pitch (presentations, slide decks & letters are all allowed), apart from the fact that it must be uploaded as a PDF file (A4, landscape or portrait) with a max. size of 30MB. Videos, example websites and so on can be included as links.  



  • 29 March ’21: Challenge launch – open for applications
  • 21 May ’21 – 5:00 pm: Challenge deadline – sign up no later than 5 pm
  • 4 June ’21: Longlist announced – A longlist of start-ups/scale-ups that are invited to meet the challengers is announced
  • 14-25 June ’21: Digital introduction meetings with challengers & participants + information session about confidentiality and IP
  • 2 July ’21: Shortlist announced based on interviews – A shortlist of start-ups/scale-ups that will be given the opportunity to work on an innovation contract is announced
  • 5-11 July ’21: Make schedule & working agreements + coordinate NDA if necessary
  • 12 July through 6 October ’21: Challenge weeks – sessions with challengers, participants & coaches to arrive at an innovation contract
  • 29 September ’21: Apply for vouchers – submit draft innovation contract + apply for vouchers
  • 6 October ’21: Vouchers awarded – submit final innovation contract + vouchers are awarded
  • 14 October ’21: Match event – celebrating the innovation contracts and partnerships + presentation of vouchers
  • 15 October ’21: Start of development & collaboration (pilot)



If you have any questions about this challenge, please head to the contact options below. For more information about the challenge program, click here.  


Background information

Renewi is a leading waste-to-product company with over 7,000 employees that gives used materials a second life, day in, day out. With our extensive network of 174 branches across Europe, we are always close to our customers.

At Renewi, we think differently about waste and see it as an opportunity. Our years of knowledge and experience, combined with a wide range of services, ensure that we can offer sustainable, pragmatic recycling solutions. With the latest innovative technologies, we convert waste back into usable materials, such as paper, metal, plastic, glass, wood, construction materials, compost and energy, extracting from today’s waste the raw materials of tomorrow.

The result of our work is less waste and pollution, smarter (re)use of scarce raw materials and a reduction in carbon emissions, with the aim of contributing to a cleaner, circular world in which there is no such thing as waste.

Renewi was formed after the merger of Shanks Group plc with Van Gansewinkel Groep BV in 2017 and is listed on the London Stock Exchange. Visit our website for more information

Renewi Organics focuses on adding value to organic residuals. In our innovation centre in Lelystad, we develop state-of-the-art processes and the latest products, such as our BioLNG product, which we also developed as part of a partnership. We are currently working on the next generation of compost and bioplastic products, among other things.


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