The actors involved in the new socio-technical sub-system are:
- Hospitality (restaurants)
- Plantation farmers
- Animal husbandries
- Biogas digester facility
- NIOZ (seaweed center), Aquaculture technology
- Composting facility
The Municipality would be strongly linked to the application and development of the new socio-technical system. It should create a net of material exchange, which would be beneficial for all the partners involved. To apply this new system, the involvement of the municipality would consist in providing services, transportation and making of new laws, that would require the other components of the design to cooperate. Without laws regulating this new bio-circular economy, the system would not work, and no profits and waste and environmental impact reduction would be accomplished. The laws should mainly require that all the actors effectively separate their waste.
The municipality benefits of the tourism this system can attract. Since all facilities are spread on the island this system makes tourists acquainted with every part of the island. Depending on the amount of methane and electricity that can be produced from the bio-digester, it can also help the municipality to strive towards a energy self-sufficient Texel.
The households should be active in separate their waste into plastics, paper, glass, cooked food waste, uncooked food waste, coffee powder waste and others (belonging to the technical system, such as aluminum and other metals). Part of these streams will be recycled (on the mainland), while the food waste and coffee powders will be collected to feed back into the new sociotechnical system. In this way all the people on the island will be aware of being part of a big picture, in which everybody is actually working on the maintenance of a sustainable and ecological society.
For the households there is no direct benefit. They indirectly benefit since food production is based on a more balanced system, than it was before. In case it attracts more tourists, local economy improves. The additional facilities that are needed generate more required employment to build the facilities and manage the facilities. This could indirectly be beneficial to households to increase their income.
Shops and companies
Shops and companies will be related to the system by providing their packaging (cardboard) waste, while collecting the plastic packaging for recycling. The cardboard will be used for horse bedding. The socio-technical system will require the shops and companies to be part of the separation-of-waste campaign, which would eventually be applied by law.
Shops benefit from that facilities are spread on the island. Tourists are therefore stimulated to explore the island, increasing the chance that they will come in contact with the shops. This gives an economic drive to implement this system.
The hospitality industry (restaurants, food facilities) is one of the main nodes of the new system, because it takes products coming from other components of the loop and processes them into waste that can be sold and reused for other purposes. It involves the reuse of cooked and uncooked food, coffee powder waste. The involvement of this industry would be, once again, a good process of separation of the waste, in order to sell it and have benefit out of it.
Because the waste is turned into valuable resources to grow food, hospitality industries benefit since they become less dependent on import. Local produced food lowers costs, since transportation is excluded.
Plantation farmers will be involved because the waste coming from the plants and fruits would be sold and reused directly for feeding the animals of animal husbandries, or to feed the biogas production process, according to the need. To fertilize their lands, farmers would buy the compost coming partly from the animal husbandries and partly for the biogas digester. The products of the farming will be of course sold to restaurants, supermarkets and other food facilities.
Plantation farmers can obtain local fertilizers. At the moment compost comes from Medemblik, where fruit and vegetables are processed by HVC. With this system that closes loops on the island, transpiration can be excluded lowering costs.
Animal husbandries will buy the waste of plants coming from the farmers and the cooked food waste from the hospitality industry. The manure and other organic waste coming from the animals would be sold to the biogas digester for production of biogas, or biologically composted. Their involvement would result in taking care of the collection of the animal organic waste.
Since the horse bedding is made of disposed cardboard, which only needs to be shredded, costs can be saved on taken care of the animals.
The biogas digester facility will be a new infrastructure introduced by the municipality for the production of biogas, as the new type of fuel to be used on the island. This would be one of the introductions for the creation of a balanced bio-circular economy that involves agriculture. The digester would take the organic waste from the animal husbandries and from the plantations and turn it into biogas, by providing scrap organic materials to be composted and sold to the farmers again. The biogas digester is an important part of the sub-system design, because it will provide fuel, heat and electricity in a sustainable way. Biogas would eventually power the shipping of the streams required by the system to work.
NIOZ, (Institute for maritime research) is an institute currently working on the island for research purposed. It also has a “seaweed center”, with a lot of potential for the new system that would require a micro-algae pond to be connected to the aquaculture technology. The aquaculture would connect the waste stream coming from the fish farming to the plants farming. The stover coming from the plants of the plantation will be used to feed the Shitake mushrooms facility that would used to produce bio-plastic and it would sell the mushrooms to the hospitality industry. The three sub-systems will be interconnected and located in one unit.
The touristic aspect can bring more publicity to NIOZ. More publicity gives more attention to problems marine life faces and can also increase awareness on research being done. Bringing people in contact with NIOZ can lead to new partnerships or sponsoring..
The Composting facility is an important part of our design. The process could be done either by HVC, already working on the island for the waste management, or by another company. Through an partnership with the worm farm, which will become a new facility, waste can be composted on a sustainable manner without using too much energy.
After the GFT waste is collected from the farming and by the animal husbandry, it is processed and turned into fertilizer. The composting facility would be centrally involved in the making of a bio-circular economy, by actually creating food (for plants) out of organic waste, closing the biological loop.