Utilizing organic waste using insect larvae

ValueBugs is a participatory grassroots projects whose goal is to develop a new method to utilize organic waste using insect larvae

After eating on kitchen waste (fruit and vegetable peels), mature larvae are themselves used as feed rich in protein and fat (bioconverted from the waste) given to urban livestock (laying hens, aquaponics fish) and pets (cats, dogs, exotic pets). The species chosen for this was the black soldier fly, whose larvae eat large quantities of waste and are rich in nutrients; they can also move outside their food substrate once they have matured, which facilitates harvesting. Using larvae as animal feed—thus recreating an energy-efficient food chain—is a way to utilize insects to solve our many environmental problems.

The ValueBugs project’s goals are to:

  • develop technical skills (farming methods and larva usage)
  • create a network for support and trading larvae between users of this method
  • clarify the relevant sanitary and regulatory framework
  • and produce open documentation, so that everyone may use the knowledge generated.

This project is led by a group of citizen researchers, associations and academics, who work together to tackle major questions raised by the implementation of this social innovation. Every participant of ValueBugs is a co-researcher, and all research work is carried out collectively: research hypotheses are formulated based on field observations and questions, experimental protocols are developed and validated during participatory workshops, experiments are analysed in groups in order to define the results produced and develop new research questions. Every participant contributes to the research by bringing to the table their own specificities, skills, interests and questions.

                                                   Action Co-Create 2018-2021

ULB partners

Etienne Toffin, 
CPBT, Faculty of Sciences
GOM, Faculty of Sciences

Other partners

Ferme Pédagogique Maximilien
WORMS asbl 
Ligue Royale Belge de Protection des Oiseaux 


Created on July 23, 2019