Assessment And Evaluation Of Outlets Of Compost Produced From Municipal Waste

Final report - ERTDI report 6 - van der Werf et al

Summary: The key goal of this document was to formulate a national strategy to develop adequate, stable and reliable PBMW-compost market and non-market outlets

Published: 2002

ISBN: 1-84095-094-3

Pages: 83

Filesize: 780KB

Price: Free to download / €13 for a printed version

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Executive Summary

Composting is one way of meeting targets for reducing the biodegradable municipal waste (BMW) fraction of waste going to landfill. This waste fraction must be reduced by 65%, as set out in European Community (EC) Council Directive (1999/31/EC) (EC, 1999) and "Changing Our Ways" (DELG, 1998).

Composting technologies will make up part of the infrastructure for biologically treating up to a target of 300,000 t of biodegradable waste annually. In the National Waste Database (EPA, 1998), approximately 33% of household and 15% of commercial waste were estimated to be organic.

Essentially this represents the putrescible fraction of biodegradable waste (PBMW), which is a subset of BMW. PBMW includes food scraps and green wastes.

These wastes have often been called the organic fraction of municipal, household or commercial waste, or the organic fraction of municipal solid waste (MSW). As part of this document, a National Strategy to develop market (for profit) and non-market (not-for-profit) outlets was devised by reviewing and synthesising existing successful models of compost distribution, and developing and synthesising relevant baseline Irish information.

Most simply, an outlet is a venue in which compost can be used for the benefit of soil and plants. An outlet can be as simple as using compost from a home composter (non-market outlet), or as sophisticated as selling a blended (with other constituents) bagged product (market outlet).

It is recognised that compost produced from PBMW will have to compete with existing organic amendments (e.g.

peat, manure, etc.), and/or new market or non-market outlets will have to be developed.

In addition, compost will have to meet legal standards (e.g. re inorganic contaminants such as metals) and market-driven standards (e.g. particle size, nutrients, salinity, etc.) in order to secure markets.