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2021 - 2024

Intercommunal acceptance for sustainable valorisation of sanitary by-product streams


Recover nutrients from consumed food and return them to agriculture in the sense of a sustainable regional circular economy.

Cooperation Partners



ZirkulierBAR is building an innovative and scalable recycling plant for the closed-loop treatment of contents from dry toilets. The end products are recycled fertilizers for agriculture and horticulture that are harmless to health, rich in nutrients and low in pollutants. Municipalities can plan and build a water-saving and resource-conserving alternative to linear water-dependent sewage treatment systems

Project structure

ZirkulierBAR is an inter- and transdisciplinary research project in Eberswalde, in the district of Barnim, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the REGION.innovativ funding measure. Here, municipalities and future-oriented companies, together with universities and research institutions, are creating a real laboratory for sustainable regional circular economy in the field of land and water management. The project started in May 2021 and will run for 3 years.

In the recycling plant of Finizio – Future Sanitation GmbH in Eberswalde, contents from dry toilets are refined into hygienically safe, nutrient-rich and low-pollutant quality compost and multi-nutrient liquid fertilizer. In test operation, new plant elements are developed and quality parameters such as hygiene, low pollutant content or content of recycled nutrients are evaluated in test series. The processes are scientifically investigated in order to standardize safety and quality standards of the fertilizer, e.g. as a DIN standard. Environmental and economic models are developed, the fertilizer effect is investigated and the social acceptance of the novel recycled fertilizers in organic farming is analyzed. In addition, recommendations for the adaptation of the waste and fertilizer legal framework will be developed and dialog events with politics, economy and society will be carried out. From this, materials for simulation games or practical seminars will be developed for better communication as well as blueprints for the dissemination of the recycling approach. The zirkulierBAR reallaboratory also serves as a “transparent production facility” for interested parties from the fields of horticulture, agriculture, and fertilizer production, and promotes the intermunicipal exchange of knowledge and experience.

More than 30 municipalities and companies have already registered as interested observers from all over Germany. If you also want to participate in the experiences of the Reallabor, please write to:

Consortium members in the zirkulierBAR joint research project are:

The IGZ is responsible for the coordination and management of the zirkulierBAR project (i.e. overall organization of the project, risk management, project control, data management, internal and external communication, reporting and evaluation). To monitor and evaluate the project objectives, an indicator-based self-evaluation with impact and risk assessment will be carried out in cooperation with the Institute for Futures Studies and Technology Assessment (IZT).

Furthermore, the IGZ participates in a work package for the development of new qualification profiles for academic & vocational education on the topic of sustainable regional circular economy and coordinates the scientific communication for the transfer of the scientific project results.

For further information on the project see 

zirkulierBAR von REGION.innovativ

Funding body BMBF within the framework of the BMBF funding measure „REGION.innovativ – Circular Economy“. The responsibility for the content of the publication lies with the authors.

“REGION.innovativ” supports regions in addressing new research and innovation topics and establishing the necessary cooperation with new partners. Several funding rounds each focus on a topic that is particularly important for structurally weak regions. While the first funding round addressed the innovative design of working environments of the future, the current funding round is aimed at the recycling of substances, materials and products.

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