The REVAMP (Resource Value Mapping) tool is now available online

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  • ddiba
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The REVAMP (Resource Value Mapping) tool is now available online

Dear Colleagues,
We have now put up an online version of the Resource Value Mapping (REVAMP) tool, available for free use at https://revamp.earth/

The REVAMP tool aims at supporting practitioners in the sanitation and waste management sector, as well as inter-linked sectors like food, agriculture and energy etc, to explore and understand what quantities of different resource recovery products can be generated from organic waste streams. The results and insights from using the tool can be input to decision making processes about sanitation, waste and resource management as well as the circular economy in urban areas. Furthermore, the tool can be used in educational contexts too. 

A description of the tool and its online platform is available on the SEI website here:  https://www.sei.org/featured/recovering-resources-from-organic-waste-streams-revamp-tool/

You can try out the tool at  https://revamp.earth/ and let us know what you think about it. Any feedback on the tool is much welcome!

Kind regards,
Daniel
Daniel Ddiba
Co-lead for SuSanA WG5: Productive sanitation and food security
Research Associate at Stockholm Environment Institute
www.sei.org/revamp
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  • Heiner
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  • I am a retired organic farmer and interested in nutrient cycles. As an volunteer I now travel mainly to poor countries and together with locals I would like to find new ways of sustainable agriculture. This is beyond the regulations of IFOAM.
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Re: The REVAMP (Resource Value Mapping) tool is now available online

Dear authors,thank you for publishing your important work! Of course I haven't read everything now, but at least I understand how you proceeded. As a farmer, I am glad for every scientist who deals with these questions.From my job, I know very well that when we decide which equipment (which fertilizer) to use, the market price is the decisive factor. You also point out that this is different in Senegal than in Tanzania. And so there can only be local recommendations. Climate, natural resources, eating habits, culture and many other factors play a role.
But there is one factor for which I have not found a rating with you now, I am missing. It's the damage to the environment if the nutrients aren't recycled.In addition, unfortunately in German, but you will be able to translate this file:

Weltkarte der menschlichen Abwässer - Hochauflösende Kartierung enthüllt Hotspots der Nährstoff- und Bakterieneinträge ins Meer - scinexx.de

This data represents part of what I'm talking about. It is quite normal for you, as also the BMGF does, to use market prices to support your calculation.But please don't forget that these market prices have led us into ecological and social catastrophe. The cheap coal and the cheap oil have caused many problems that we now have to deal with under enormous time pressure.

And the next miscalculation threatens. Scientists have calculated that solar energy is already the cheapest primary energy in most places. Nitrogen is a nutrient whose extraction is very energy-intensive. The price for the kilowatt/hour drops every year.As a result, it can already be seen today that it is much cheaper to re-bind nitrogen from the air than to reuse the existing nitrogen from urine.What I want to say: the given market prices are sometimes a very poor sole guide for a social and ecological orientation of an economy, even of our actions in general. The upcoming transformation of our societies requires the expansion of our approaches and our calculations.

Best regards, Heiner
Heiner, the old farmer.....
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  • Elisabeth
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Re: The REVAMP (Resource Value Mapping) tool is now available online

Hi Heiner,
Thanks for alerting us to that publication. You had linked to a German page; from there I found the original paper which is in English: Mapping global inputs and impacts from of human sewage in coastal ecosystems

I've now started a separate post about that research here:  forum.susana.org/environmental-issues/25...-from-nov-2021#33144

Daniel, how would you respond to Heiner regarding his points about the "real costs", or "externalities" of not using nutrients in the proper way and discharging them to surface waters?

Regards,
Elisabeth
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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Re: The REVAMP (Resource Value Mapping) tool is now available online

Hi Heiner,
Thank you for your comments, and also thanks to Elisabeth for alerting me to your post.

You mentioned that

"You also point out that this is different in Senegal than in Tanzania. And so there can only be local recommendations. Climate, natural resources, eating habits, culture and many other factors play a role."

I couldn't understand clearly whether the above comment is in reference to the REVAMP website or if it was a comment about some other published work. I can't seem to find anywhere on the REVAMP website text referring to Senegal and Tanzania as you stated. Please clarify or point out more specifically what part of the website you are referring to.

With regards to the latter part of your post, I'm not sure if you had sufficient time to explore the purpose and function of the REVAMP tool on the website but I can make a couple of clarifications. The assessment of the environmental consequences of not recycling nutrients is not part of the scope of the REVAMP tool. There are other tools that exist which can be used for this e.g. LCA software tools, and hence it was not feasible for us to duplicate that function in REVAMP. The main motivation of REVAMP is to be a resource for those who are interested in exploring what resource recovery options could be relevant for their locality. 

With regards to market prices, I do agree with you that market prices are a poor sole guide when dealing with environmental issues. Indeed, the REVAMP website provides an approach for users to make calculations/estimates of the quantities of resource recovery products that can be generated form the waste streams available in their locality, as well as the energy and nutrient content. If they are interested, they can go further and make estimates of the revenues that can be generated from the resource recovery products but that is not the sole function of the tool.

I hope the above provides clarification to your comments. I look forward to learning more about what you were referring to specifically with the first point.

Kind regards,
Daniel
Daniel Ddiba
Co-lead for SuSanA WG5: Productive sanitation and food security
Research Associate at Stockholm Environment Institute
www.sei.org/revamp
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  • Heiner
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  • I am a retired organic farmer and interested in nutrient cycles. As an volunteer I now travel mainly to poor countries and together with locals I would like to find new ways of sustainable agriculture. This is beyond the regulations of IFOAM.
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Re: The REVAMP (Resource Value Mapping) tool is now available online

Hi Daniel,
actually you didn'nt have a big chance to understand everything I wrote....for different reasons.  Should have done it more careful. But I make it short and clearer this time. At least I try.
The revamp tool is for a rapid calculation as written on the hp. This is done for lots of reasons, I guess. My note was meant as a notice for environmental problems, not shown in the tool. We all work in different branches and different communities. Sometimes side by side but with different education and mindset. I worked all my life as an organic farmer and had the pleasure of being involved in biodiversity research during my career. I found out I knew very little about correlations to my job.
I read and wrote on this SuSanA website during the last 2 years or so and again I learned a lot. Even though I didn't understand everything. But for me the green button (ressource recovery) was of high interest. And since quite a  time the posts to this topic more or less vanished. By reading the article about the  (nutrient)pollution of the rivers and seas in the world I thought it would be a good idea to post it here. Because of the connection to the sanitation sector. Thats about all....
But I was ab bit shocked, and not for the first time, when I read the revamp tool took not in account the damage of the environment. And as you wrote in your post: "...   is not part of the scope of the REVAMP tool. There are other tools that exist which can be used for this e.g. LCA software tools, and hence it was not feasible for us to duplicate that function in REVAMP......"
For my like there are too many tools around which ignore our environment (and the damage) because it doesn't pay off in Dollars in the short run. And so the tool should be supplemented with ecological calculations.
I know you will never do that, Not because you are an ignoring person but because of the aim of the tool, the system you work in and the missing nature lobbyists in the working groups that develop it.
My question is: for how long can we act like that and not destroy our natural basis of life.
But since there was no other reply on my post I accept this is not of hígh interest on this platform. Here the 17 sdgs are of importance which are incomplete to the ecological questions too. And there will be a reason for this too.
I have decided to leave this platform. Not because there is almost nobody interested in my weird views rather because I will not  get the chance to realise my ideas in any practical work. This is because of my age.

But all the best for you and your work! Every little step is of importance to heal mother earth....

Heiner
Heiner, the old farmer.....
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Re: The REVAMP (Resource Value Mapping) tool is now available online

I totally agree with Heiner, the problem he is describing is called "silo thinking". It's pointless making a resource recovery tool (this century anyway) without taking into account all the economic costs and values, including the cost of doing nothing. Ecosystem services should always be included in decision support tools because change inevitably requires more than just knowing the value of what can be recovered. Non-market values are at play that cannot be excluded. The cheapest means of disposing of sewage is to discharge into the nearest drain, only because the value of recovering resources has always and will always be marginal at best. Indeed discharging treated sewage to water bodies isn't much better, yet this is standard practice because the nutrient pollution isn't valued. Another good example is global warming. Until the full cost of fossil emissions is included in the fuel, renewables cannot compete.
Dean Satchell, M For. Sc.
Vermifilter.com
www.vermifilter.com
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Re: The REVAMP (Resource Value Mapping) tool is now available online

Hi!
Thank you Heiner and Dean for your comments and this discussion. 

I think there are two perspectives here that can be distinguished here for clarity:
  1. The idea that environmental consequences, ecosystem services and other externalities (hereinafter collectively referred to as "environmental and social assessments") should always be considered in any process to develop an intervention in a sanitation or waste management system that includes resource recovery considerations.
  2. The idea that all decision support tools that deal with resource recovery should always have features/functions for environmental and social assessments.
On the first point, we are all in agreement. In fact, we discuss this point in detail in our recent paper which describes the methodology behind the REVAMP tool (Open access: The circular economy potential of urban organic waste streams in low- and middle-income countries ). 

On the second point, I think it is really debatable if all decision support tools should always have features/functions for environmental and social assessments. I personally think that this applies only if the aim (or one of the aims) of the tool is to perform some kind of detailed sustainability assessment of selected interventions. After all, there are many other steps involved in any planning or decision process about sanitation & resource recovery interventions e.g. defining planning objectives and criteria, waste quantification & characterization, design & simulation of solution options etc. Some decision support tools may only be focused on filling a gap in one or a few of these steps as the primary aim, hence making it unfeasible to include detailed environmental and social assessments as a feature. Furthermore, due to computational limitations ("not everything that counts can be counted..."), some important issues may be considered in a feasibility assessment process but through other means outside of the quantitative decision support tool(s) being used in the process. 

For the case of REVAMP, the tool is intended to be an aid for users who are interested in exploring what resource recovery options could be relevant for their case, through making estimates of the quantity of resource recovery products, nutrients and energy that can be recovered from their waste streams. This is especially relevant when considering the design and sizing of interventions. The fact that features for detailed environmental assessment are not included in REVAMP does not imply that they are ignored or unimportant. Given that REVAMP is not intended to be used as "the only" tool for resource recovery interventions but rather as one unique tool in a toolbox, our approach, for now, is to explore soft-linking or hard-linking to other tools which focus on features that are not in REVAMP's scope, instead of duplication them. For example, we are exploring in some ongoing work how REVAMP output can be used as one of the inputs in life cycle assessment tools and other sustainability assessment frameworks which evaluate in more detail the environmental and social aspects that Heiner and Dean describe. 

Kind regards,
Daniel
Daniel Ddiba
Co-lead for SuSanA WG5: Productive sanitation and food security
Research Associate at Stockholm Environment Institute
www.sei.org/revamp
Skype: daniel.ddiba
LinkedIn: Daniel Ddiba
Twitter: @DanielDdiba
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