Guideline to promote quality compost and digestate

The D3.3 Guideline on quality compost and digestate, published as part of the LIFE BIOBEST project, breaks down the treatment technologies and resources that support the production of compost and digestate. The guideline provides insights about the processing options, analysis of product characteristics, quality assurance systems as well as related EU legislation and the ECN quality assurance scheme.

This guideline, along with three additional guidelines on bio-waste separate collection, governance and economic incentives, and communication and engagement practices, aims to support upper-level authorities in streamlining policy measures and lower-level authorities in implementing effective solutions. The guidelines serve as crucial resources for municipalities, policymakers, waste haulers, recycling entities, and technical practitioners, whether they are in the initial stages of bio-waste implementation or have advanced management systems.

Available in English.

Guideline on the separate collection of bio-waste

The D3.1 Guideline on separate collection, published as part of the LIFE BIOBEST project, offers a comprehensive overview of various bio-waste collection schemes, assessing their pros and cons. It includes a set of Best Practices focusing on collection from households and other producers in diverse contexts.

This guideline, along with three additional guidelines on governance and economic incentives, compost and digestate, and communication and engagement practices, aims to support upper-level authorities in streamlining policy measures and lower-level authorities in implementing effective solutions. The guidelines serve as crucial resources for municipalities, policymakers, waste haulers, recycling entities, and technical practitioners, whether they are in the initial stages of bio-waste implementation or have advanced management systems.

Available in English.

Policy brief including the regulatory barriers for bio-waste separate collection and treatment

Ahead of the EU bio-waste separate collection mandate in January 2024, LIFE BIOBEST‘s Deliverable 5.2 identifies the gaps in the regulatory framework and systemic barriers obstructing efficient bio-waste management with high capture rates of high-quality material.

LIFE BIOBEST interviewed 15+ expert stakeholders from across the EU to discuss the difficulties of meeting the landfill and recycling targets as well as the mandate for separate collection of bio-waste. This report investigates the status of transposition and management results of the EU legal framework and proposes recommendations and calls to action.

Available in English.

Improved and homogenised datasets on municipal bio-waste management in the EU

Released for public dissemination by the LIFE BIOBEST project, this report consists of a homogenised dataset on municipal bio-waste management.

Originating from an investigation into the current status of data collection and reporting in the European Union, the publication contains data on basic information and boundary conditions for bio-waste collection and treatment for nearly all 27 EU Member States, as well as a detailed dataset exploring the collection per capita of food waste and garden waste at the municipal level for Italy, Denmark, and Catalonia.

Available in English.

 

Feedback to the proposal for a targeted revision of the Waste Framework Directive

Zero Waste Europe welcomes the proposal for a targeted revision of the Waste Framework Directive, introducing food waste reduction targets and Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for textiles. Yet, the proposal falls short of addressing some of the pain points ZWE has raised for year, among which are the lack of action on residual waste generation, the overhaul of the definition of recycling, and targets for bio-waste collection. In the long run, ZWE urges the EU to revise the directive to align with the EU climate targets and introduce a law on resource/material use.

Available in English

The story of Calatafimi Segesta

The Sicilian municipality of Calatafimi Segesta may be small, but it provides one of Europe’s leading examples of how an island municipality can implement an effective zero waste strategy whilst also focusing on improving the lives of the local community. Despite receiving high-levels of tourism each year and having a dense, historic area in its centre, Calatafimi Segesta still achieved a 85% separate collection rate and generated just 88kgs of residual waste per person in 2022.

The municipality achieved these impressive results through a process of implementing a zero waste strategy at its core, with a focus on door-to-door collection of materials and the prioritisation of capturing organics, with supplementary incentives offered to residents who home composted. The decision not to build or extend local incineration capacity has allowed the municipality to implement ambitious policies that have delivered results.

Since its political commitment to become a Zero Waste City in 2011, the municipality has doubled the amount of materials separately collected for recycling and reuse. In this same timespan, they have reduced the volume of residual waste by two-thirds.

Available in English and Italian.

Joint letter on the need to include bio-waste targets in the Waste Framework Directive

The mandatory bio-waste collection in the EU, slated to begin on the 1st of January 2024, lacks concrete collection targets which will pave the way for inadequate schemes that fail to address the issue at hand. Bio-waste holds immense potential for recycling valuable resources. Yet, evidence shows that without a concerted effort to capture and utilise bio-waste, we will fall short of the ambitious 65% recycling target by 2035. A mere 34% of the total bio-waste was collected in 2018, leaving a staggering 40 million tonnes of potential soil nutrients to be discarded, polluting our environment and squandering invaluable resources. Our environment, our communities, and our future generations deserve better.

The signatories of this joint letter, including MEPs, environmental organisations, and industry leaders, demand mandatory targets on bio-waste reduction within the current revision of the WFD, and call on the European Commission to provide proper guidance and tools to Member States to achieve them. Adopting specific targets for biowaste in residual waste aims to incentivize proper collection and recycling practices.

Guidance for municipalities on the best-performing methods to separately collect bio-waste

The EU’s Waste Framework Directive mandates that all Member States must separately collect bio-waste from 1st January 2024 onwards. With future recycling targets of 60 and 65% in the coming years, it is increasingly apparent that Member States must prioritise high-performing bio-waste collection models if they are to achieve the desired targets for recycling and the circular economy in Europe as a whole.

Ahead of this upcoming deadline, there is a growing risk of municipalities opting for cheaper, “easier” models that meet the required threshold of “separately collecting” organic waste, with the most common of these being large street containers/bins that municipalities sometimes opt for. With an urgent need to ensure that bio-waste collection systems are rolled out across the EU, as well as the wide range of economic, environmental and social benefits from effectively collecting bio-waste well, this paper has been designed to present key data on the performance of different collection systems for bio-waste from a variety of European regions and municipalities.

The data shown in this paper proves how door-to-door collection models for organics provide the best results – both for the quantity of material collected and the quality of such bio-waste. This guidance document also provides details on the key performance indicators for such systems, as well as a set of policy recommendations for municipalities who are seeking to implement high-performing organics collection systems in their communities. The results from this study are comprehensive – for any municipality wishing to collect high amounts of high-quality (low contamination) bio-waste whilst also saving costs, door-to-door collection is the proven best model for achieving such results.

Available in English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Ukrainian, Estonian, and Hungarian.

The Story of Milan

In 2011, the city of Milan started implementing an ambitious scheme to separately collect bio-waste and recycle it. With 1.4 million inhabitants and an extremely densely populated area, this wasn’t an easy task as bio-waste collection schemes are more difficult to set up in big cities. However, after 10 years, Milan is now one of the leading examples, with 95 kilograms of bio-waste collected per inhabitant and a 62% waste collection rate.

With the 1 January 2024 deadline for all EU Member States to collect bio-waste separately, the story of Milan shows how other cities across Europe can follow in their footsteps to effectively collect and manage food waste, even in the challenging circumstances that large, densely-populated cities provide.

Bio-waste generation in the EU: Current capture levels and future potential

Zero Waste Europe and the Bio-based Industries Consortium analyse the untapped potential of biowaste (garden and food waste) in Europe. The first study of its kind details the current generation and capture rates in the EU with dedicated country fact-sheets and municipalities best practice.

Available in English

The story of Pontevedra

Thanks to decentralised composting the province of Pontevedra went from providing no options for bio-waste to a comprehensive and community-based system, establishing itself as a best practice example for bio-waste management in Spain and beyond.

Available in English & Spanish

The Story of Besançon

Located in Eastern France, the city of Besançon has rolled out an extensive system of decentralized composting, covering 70% of its population and significantly reducing the waste sent for disposal.

Learn how they did it with our case study.

Available in English, Croatian, French, German, and Slovenian.