European Compostnetwork ECN



The Role of Biowaste in the Emerging Circular Economy

EP Policy Debate, 24 June 2015, Brussels

The European Parliament Intergroup on 'Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development' is organising a conference-debate 'The Role of Biowaste in the Emerging Circular Ecomony'  from 10:30 until 13:30 h on the 24 June 2015 in Brussels.

Moving towards a circular economy and a resource efficient society will be the future for Europe, but this means that additional legislative initiatives are necessary. There is a need for a more comprehensive resource-efficient waste and product policy. With the publication of the European Commission’s roadmap ‘Circular Economy Strategy’ the Commission has announced to come up with a ‘new and more ambitious proposal’ on the waste review.
Biowaste plays a key role in sustainable waste management. Biowaste accounts for the largest fraction (40%) in municipal solid waste. Only 30% of biowaste across Europe is collected separately and recycled in a sustainable way by composting and anaerobic digestion.
With new waste legislation more than 50 million tonnes of biowaste could be recycled, which will result in the creation of 100,000 new jobs.

Against this background, this event will offer the opportunity for key decision-makers and stakeholders to discuss the importance of separate collection and recycling targets for biowaste as well as setting end-of-waste criteria for compost and digestate to establish a level playing field for the sustainable use and marketing of these recycled materials in Europe.

Registration is now open
For participation in the European Parliament event you have to register following the registration link.

On behalf of the European Compost Network we welcome your presence in the European Parliament and look forward for your active participation.


Closing the Loop – Circular Economy: boosting business, reducing waste

EU Stakeholder Conference, 25 June 2015, Brussels

As announced in the 2015 European Commission Work Programme, a new and more ambitious Circular Economy Package will be presented before the end of 2015. The package will lay out the green growth opportunities and build on the previous EU resource efficiency and innovation initiatives. To support the public consultation in collecting the views of stakeholders on the main policy options and measures explored for this initiative, the Commission is organizing a Circular Economy Conference on 25 June 2015 in Brussels.

You are invited to participate in this conference, which is open to all stakeholders wishing to contribute to shaping European economic policy making. The conference will consist of an opening plenary (keynote and panel discussion); a series of break-out sessions addressing specific aspects of the circular economy; and a closing panel with institutional representatives. It will be opened by FVP Frans Timmermans; closed by VP Jyrki Katainen; and will include contributions from Commissioners Elżbieta Bieńkowska and Karmenu Vella.

What is the registration process?
Please note that attendance is free, but registration is required.
More details are available on the Registration Website.


Roadmap on Circular Economy published

EU Commission

After the withdwrawal of the legislative proposal for the review of waste legislation the new Commission has now published the 'Roadmap on Circular Economy'. With this initiative the Commission aims to reinforce a new and more ambitious proposal to promote Circular Economy. The 'Roadmap on Circular Economy' is available here.

The roadmap includes two main reasons for the withdrawal of the waste legislative proposal from 2014:

'Firstly, the overall approach presented in July 2014 had a rather exclusive focus on waste management, without appropriately exploring synergies with other policies - clear examples of such policies are product policies or the development of well-functioning markets for secondary raw materials. It is therefore important to step up the ambition by looking more concretely at waste management on the one hand, and related key aspects of the value chain, which are essential in order to "close the loop" of the circular economy, on the other hand.

Secondly, as far as the waste proposal is concerned, the Commission will examine, in particular, how to make this proposal more country specific, and how to improve the implementation of waste policy on the ground. To that effect, the Commission will look more closely in particular into existing problems of non-compliance which is essential to ensure effective implementation.'

A public consultation on the new initiative is expected to be opened end of May. This consultation period will be accompanied with consultation conferences. The first stakeholder conference is scheduled for the 25 June 2015 in Brussels. More details are available on the Registration Website.


The Austrian Compost Quality Assurance Organisation (Kompostgüteverband Österreich – KGVOE) is now certified to the European Quality Assurance Scheme for Compost and Digestate


The Austrian Compost Quality Assurance Organisation ‘KGVOE’ has become the fourth European Quality Assurance Organisation to be awarded with the conformity label of the European Compost Network’s Quality Assurance Scheme for Compost and Digestate (ECN-QAS). With this conformity label ‘KGVOE’ is now entitled to award the European quality label for compost to the participating composting plants.

KGVOE was founded in 1994 as quality assurance organisation to promote the production of high quality compost products in Austria and represents municipal and private compost plants treating approx. 150.000 Mg bio-waste per year.
Detailed information about the quality assurance scheme of KGVOE is included in the presentation of KGVOE. The website of KGVOE can be visited here and a brochure of KGVOE (German version) can be seen here.

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EU Public Consultation on LULUCF

Consultation on the integration of agriculture, forestry and other land use into the 2030 EU climate and energy policy framework

At the end of March the Commission (DG CLIMA) has launched two public consultations on the preparation of a legislative proposal on the effort of Member States to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to meet the European Union's greenhouse gas emission reduction commitment in a 2030 perspective; addressing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and LULUCF in the context of the 2030 EU climate and energy framework.The consultation on agriculture and LULUCF contains some provisions on soils and land use which might be interesting for the bio-waste sector. This consultation gives you the possibility of sharing your views with the Commission.

The online-consultation on ‘addressing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and LULUCF’ is available here and is open until 18 June 2015.


Live Panel Debate on Circular Economy

EU Policy

On 16 April 2015 a live panel discussion on ‘How can Europe capitalise on the circular economy?’ was held. The panel debate was moderated by the journalists Sonja van Renssen discussing with Karl Falkenberg (General Director of DG Environment), Jan Gerbrandy (Member of the European Parliament - ALDE Group and Shadow rapporteur on the Waste Management Directive) and Andy Doran (representing the European Aluminium Association as Senior Manager – Sustainability and Recycling Development of Novelis Europe) the role and impact of Circular Economy in Europe.

All panellists stressed the importance on implementing Circular Economy throughout Europe. Based on the reactions the Commission has received on the withdrawal of the waste legislative proposal Karl Falkenberg explained that the Commission is still working on a ‘new and more ambitious proposal’. The development of the new proposal foresees a broad stakeholder consultation, which will take place before the summer break. High quality recycling based on separate collected waste streams (glass, paper, metal, plastics and bio-waste) will play an important role in the future waste and product policy of the Commission. The concept of end-of-waste has to be followed up.

The complete debate can be watched as video stream published by ‘vieuws’ the European Daily Broadcaster. Highlights of the debate are summarised in a short version.


Towards an EU Circular Economy

The contribution of recyclers to job creation and sustainable growth

The European Recycling Industries' Confederation (EuRIC) organised a conference-debate 'Towards an EU Circular Economy', chaired by Mr Karl-Heinz Florenz, Member of the European Parliament, and hosted by the European Economic & Social Committee (EESC) on the 24 March 2015 in Brussels.
The conference-debate provided a timely opportunity for all stakeholders to highlight the importance of an ambitious new circular economy package.
On behalf of the European Commission Mr Karl Falkenberg, Director General of DG Environment, stated that a more ambitious proposal entails focusing on a list of achievable targets that are aligned with jobs and growth agenda. He highlighted that an important component is implementing separate collection for the five waste streams paper, metal, plastic, glass and organic waste. The new proposal is expected for early autumn.

The summary report of the conference-debate and the presentation of the newly-created umbrella organisation for the recycling industries in Europe, given by the Mr Dominique Maguin, President of EuRIC are available here.



Organic Waste in Circular Economy

More than 350 leading experts and decision makers in the field of phosphorus management followed the invitation by the German Phosphorus Platform and the European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform to join the second European Sustainable Phosphorus Conference (ESPC2015) on the 5-6 March 2015 in Berlin, Germany. The European Compost Network organised and chaired a successful round table on ‘Nutrient recycling in compost and digestate'.

  • The summary of the conclusions on nutrient recycling in compost and digestate is available here.
  • The poster presentation that was given additionally by ECN can be downloaded here.
  • Further Information on ESPC2015: here.

VHE / ahu Study

Calculation of Contaminant Accumulation in Soil Due to Long Term Compost Application

A recent study published by the German humus association, VHE, modelled the accumulation of compost contaminants in soils. The research was carried out by Dr Silvia Lazar and Dr Silke Höke of ahu AG in Germany, who used a mathematical approach to estimate contaminant concentration build up in soils by taking into account the mineral fraction of compost.

An English version of the German study has been published by ECN and is available here.

ECN has also published a Press Release on this topic which can be downloaded here.


Flemish Quality Assurance Organisation for Compost and Digestate Vlaco certified to new European Quality Assurance Scheme for Compost and Digestate

PRESS RELEASE, February 2015

Award of the certificate to Vlaco (J,Van Haeff (Chair of ECN), K. Vandenbroek (Vlaco vzw), S. Siebert (ECN-Quality Manager) l.-r.)The Flemish Quality Assurance Organisation for Compost and Digestate ‘Vlaco’ has become the first European Quality Assurance Organisation to pass the European Compost Network’s updated Quality Assurance Scheme for Compost and Digestate (ECN-QAS). With this conformity label 'Vlaco’ is now entitled to award the European quality label for compost and digestate to the participating composting and digestion plants.
With the publication of the European Compost Network’s (ECN) ECN Quality Manual ‘ECN-QAS - European Quality Assurance Scheme for Compost and Digestate’ in October 2014, the ECN laid down harmonised requirements for national certification bodies and quality criteria for recycled materials from organic resources. The aim is to facilitate the free cross-border movement of composts and digestate made out of recycled bio-wastes within the EU.
Following this successful conformity assessment to the ECN-QAS, Vlaco is leading the way towards a harmonised market for compost and digestate across Europe.

The full press release can be downloaded here.


Business, municipalities & NGOs against withdrawal of circular economy

Together with 13 European organisations from business, communities and the environment the European Compost Network has signed a joint statement urging Members of the European Parliament to adopt a strong resolution against the withdrawal and retabling of the Circular Economy proposal.

In December 2014, the Commission announced it was planning to withdraw the proposal, which would see the obligation of separate collection of bio-waste, higher recycling rates across Europe and reductions to the level of waste sent to landfill. It said it would retable a new version by the end of the year.

In the statement, the signatories say that a withdrawal of the proposal "could lead to unnecessary
and harmful regulatory uncertainty, a waste of the EU institutions’ resources and, above all, a delay in the actions and investments required by private and public entities."

The full statement can be accessed here.


European Commission Proposal on Circular Economy Can Create 100,000 Jobs in Biowaste Industry

PRESS RELEASE, 12 December 2014

In July 2014, the European Commission published a strategy on Circular Economy. Included in this package is a proposal for the revision of the Waste Framework Directive. It suggests setting targets for the recycling of municipal waste to 70 % by 2030 and that Member States shall implement separate collection of biowaste by 2025.

The European Compost Network (ECN) strongly endorses this proposal and calls on the new Commission to proceed with this proposal.

Stefanie Siebert, Executive Director of ECN said “The biowaste industry is already ensuring that parts of the organic resources are recycled into compost, biogas and digestate, to the benefit of sustainable agriculture and soil management, climate, reduction of primary resource consumption and the environment. The sector already has created around 50.000 jobs and processes 24 million tonnes of biowaste. To further develop the sector and encouraging MSs which are still at the very beginning on the route towards the ‘Recycling Society’ clear political signals and binding long term commitments are needed. This has the potential of recycling additional 50 million tonnes and the creation of 100.000 jobs at least and at local level. The European Compost Network therefore strongly supports that the revision of the Waste Framework Directive is completed.”

Link to Press release 'EU Circular Economy Package 12/12/2014'

Letter to EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker


BIOGAS 24th International Convention and Trade Fair, 27th – 29th January 2015, Fair and Congress Center Bremen, Germany

The world's biggest gathering of the biogas industry takes place from 27-29 January 2015 in Bremen, Germany.

After the new developments in Germany in 2014 there will be lots of questions about the future of biogas on the agenda at the 24th Annual Conference, such as: What role will the use of biogas play in the future? What points should be taken into account in repowering and plant extensions? How can we make sure that our biogas plants are safe? What are the potentials and opportunities for the anaerobic digestion of residues and wastes? What are the developments on international biogas markets? Please find the details of the programm as of November here:
The trade fair parallel to the conference shows the latest biogas trends and offers sound advice from plant manufacturers, planners and service providers. Already 270 exhibitors have applied and the organizer, the German Biogas Association expects a final number of up to 350 exhibitors on more than 12.000 m². The program for the annual conference with over 35 plenary sessions will be released in the first week of November 2014. Various sessions will be translated simultaneously into English or will be held in English.
For more information please visit:


Call For Abstracts RAMIRAN

16th International Conference Rural-Urban Symbiosis, 8-10 Sept 2015, Hamburg (D)

RAMIRAN 2015 is focusing on closing the cycle linking rural production and urban consumption systems and on the development of more sustainable solutions.
Agriculture produces bioresources for food and increasingly also for material and energy provision. The majority of agro-products are used in urban areas where they are connected with waste and wastewater generation. On the one hand, these residues are actually disposed or inefficiently treated, on the other they have value for agricultural production.

Thematic areas
■ Quality fertilizers from residues
■ Sustainable Soils
■ Advances in emission prevention
■ The bioresource challenge
■ Agro-products for the biobased economy
■ Smart concepts for rural development
■ Towards zero waste settlements
■ Rural-urban sustainability cases studies world wide

Deadline for abstract submission: 15 December 2014

For more information:

Ramiran2015 Conference Office
Ms Gerlinde Löbkens
TuTech Innovation GmbH
Harburger Schlossstr. 6-12
D-21079 Hamburg, Germany
Phone: + 49 - 40 - 76629 6551




From November 5th to 8th 2014 the great expo event dedicated to major European and international strategies on eco-innovation and transforming waste into a resource will be back at Rimini Fiera, Italy.

10th International conference ‘BIODEGRADABLE WASTES’

15th-17th October 2014, Náměšť nad Oslavou, CZ

Biodegradable material is very actual issue of concern, especially in view of the realisation of the National Waste Management Plan of the Czech Republic. This year’s 10th International Conference  is dealing with food waste prevention, planning tools and methods for the entire cycle of biowaste management in rural and urban environments, European and national funding opportunities, examples of good practice and techniques including the application of output products from biowaste treatment, and other actual topics.
The “Days of techniques and technologies” in September and October will be an integrative part of the conference. Here successful implementation projects will be demonstrated as well as the key aims of the Czech waste management strategies.
Under the patronage of the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Industry and Trade (Czech Republic) and also under the patronage of the President of the Regional Council of Vysočina, Jiří Běhounek, M.D. and the Rector of the Mendel University, Prof. Dr. Ladislav Havel, CSc.
Organised by ZERA - Zemědělská a ekologická regionální agentura, o.s.
more information



24th Annual National Compost Conference of Compost Council of Canada

September 22-24, 2014, Halifax,

The Compost Council of Canada's 24th Annual Conference will be the premier conference in Canada in 2014 for those involved or interested in becoming involved in the organics recycling and compost utilization field. The conference annually provides attendees with a prime array of opportunities to gather the latest, most up-to-date information on compost initiatives and programs, developments in technology, processing and equipment, marketing and applied research. Just as important, the Conference provides the ideal venue to meet and network with others in the Canadian and international organics recycling industry.

The programme is available here:

More Information about the Canadian Compost Council here:


Towards a Circular Economy: A zero waste programme for Europe

On the 2 July 2014 the Commission adopted proposals to turn Europe into a more circular economy and boost recycling in the Member States. The proposals ask Europeans to recycle 70 % of municipal waste and 80 % of packaging waste by 2030, and ban burying recyclable waste in landfill as of 2025. A target is also included for reducing marine litter along with food waste reduction objectives. Separate collection of bio-waste shall become mandatory in all Member States by 2025!

The European Commission adopted the Communication "Towards a circular economy: a zero waste programme for Europe" and annex to establish a common and coherent EU framework to promote the circular economy.

Proposal for the revision of waste related targets
As part of the circular economy package, the Commission also adopted a legislative proposal to review recycling and other waste-related targets in the EU and annex.
The legislative proposal refer mainly to review the revision process of recycling and other waste-related targets in the EU Waste Framework Directive 2008/98/EC, the Landfill Directive 1999//31/EC and the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive 94/62/EC.

The full article about the EU Circular Economy Package is included in the ECN News 02_2014.


New report from ACR+: Management options for different composting strategies

Bio-waste has so far been managed by very different policies in European countries, ranging from little to no action in some to very ambitious actions in others. Existing legislative instruments at re- gional/national level, if existing at all, have not yet reached the intended objectives.
The ACR+ report aims to highlight the different possible composting strategies that can be considered by local authorities and other public/ private stakeholders dealing with bio-waste.
The information is presented in an easy, accessible way and is meant to provide best available bio-waste composting strategies. This publication is of particular interest for those countries that are still heavily reliant on landfilling of bio-waste.

The report is available in English and can be downloaded (for ACR+ members free of charge) here.
Non-members can order the report at the ACR+ secretariat:


New Statistics on Municipal Waste Management in EU28

On the 25 March 2014, EUROSTAT published updated statistics on the management of municipal waste in 2012. The data shows that 42 % of treated municipal waste was recycled or composted in the EU28.

Furthermore, 492 kg of municipal waste was generated per person, while 480 kg of municipal waste was treated per person. This municipal waste was treated in different ways; 34% was landfilled, 24 % incinerated, 27% recycled and 15% composted.

More than 50% of the overall municipal waste recycled or composted in the EU28 was in Germany, Austria and Belgium. The treatment methods differ substantially between Member States.

The full news release from Eurostat can be downloaded here.


Annual Meeting 2014

The ECN Annual Meeting 2014 will be held on the 27th June 2014 in Gödöllö (Hungary). The Annual Meeting is scheduled to take place between 16:00 and 19:00 h in the Knowledge Transfer Center of the Szent István University followed by a common ECN dinner in Gödöllö.
The agenda (A1_Agenda ECN Annual meeting_2014), the proxy voting form (A2_Vote for proxy 2014) and a registration form for your participation (A3_Registration Annual Meeting) can be downloaded in the Member area.

This year our Annual Meeting will be connected to the 9th International Scientific Conference ORBIT 2014. ORBIT 2014 will be held on the 26th to 28th June 2014 and is organised by the Hungarian Quality Compost Association, the Szent István University and the European Compost Network.

During the ORBIT2014 several ECN events are scheduled:

26 June 09:00 h to 10:30 h ECN WG5 ‘Eastern and starting Countries in biological waste management’
27 June 09:00 h to 11:00 h ECN WG3 ‘Integrated Waste Management’
27 June 16:00 h to 19:00 h ECN Annual meeting 2014

Podcast series from is dedicated to packaging an unprecedented online learning platform for local governments, agriculture and businesses in effort to bring their influencers up to speed on the subject matter.

The Organic Stream is a weekly podcast series where experts and key figures in the recycling sphere share stories from the field. A new episode of the audio podcast series  'The Organic Stream' is released in which an expert (E. Favoino) talks about the separate collection program currently being rolled out in Milan for organics. Here are the links:



9th International Scientific Conference ORBIT

„New challenges, new responses in the 21st Century”

in Gödöllő, Hungary, 26-28, June, 2014.

The conference is organized by Szent István University (Gödöllő) and the Hungarian Quality Compost Association in co-operation with the European Compost Network e.V. (ECN). It aims to encompass several aspects and offer opportunity to explore many current and relevant issues of organic resources and biological treatment, included compost, biochar, digestate sciences and applications. It provides an interactive forum for exchange of ideas and joint discussions on recent scientific and practical results and current issues related to technological processes, analysis and characterization, sustainable uses and certification, regulation and marketing aspects.

The preliminary detailed programme can be downloaded here.

more information


ECN/PIGO Biowaste Seminar ‘Implementation of Organic Waste Management in Europe – EU policy strategies and national developments’

In co-operation with the Polish Waste Management Association 'PIGO'  the ECN/PIGO Biowaste Seminar 2013 'Implementation of Organic Waste Management in Europe - EU policy strategies an national developments' was held on the 8th October 2013 in Poznan, Polen.

The seminar was kindly sponsored by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety and supported by DG Environment of the EU Commission.

65 people from the following countries attended the workshop:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Italy, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain.


Please find the final programme and the presentations for download here.



Memorandum on Bio-waste Management sent to EU Commissioner Janez Potočnik

130710_ECN_MemorandumThe European Compost Network ECN together with the European Environmental Bureau EEB has been calling for urgent actions by the EU Commission to settle regulatory measures to support effectively sustainable Bio-waste Management in all European Member States. ECN and EEB sent a ‘Memorandum on Bio-waste’ to the EU Commissioner Janez Potočnik for asking to strengthen the work of the EU Commission to develop a consistent strategy and policy framework for the management of bio-waste in Europe.

The ECN/EEB ‘Memorandum on bio-waste’ could be downloaded here.

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