European Compostnetwork ECN



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.


ECN Good Practice Guide on ABPR Published

20130627_abpr_guide_deckblatt-001ECN has published a Good Practice Guide on ‘How to Comply with the EU Animal By-Products Regulations at Composting and Anaerobic Digestion Plants’. Written by Florian Amlinger and Line Diana Blytt, and edited by Dr Jane Gilbert and Dr Stefanie Siebert, it sets out the key provisions required at composting and anaerobic digestion plants, describing how the Regulation can be proportionately and accurately implemented.

The Guide is aimed at plant operators, consultants, providers of technology and authorities, providing information and guidance, and is intended to make it easier to comprehend the structure and content of the specific obligations. It also sets out possible relaxations and exemptions for the processing of animal by-products in composting and anaerobic digestion plants, without increasing risks to animal or public health or the environment. Details of some of the ways in which selected Member States have implemented the ABPR for composting and anaerobic digestion and to what extent they have made use of the possibility to apply national rules for certain animal by-products, are detailed in the appendices.

A copy of the Guide can be obtained from the member’s part of the ECN website or can be ordered by sending an email to



3rd International Practitioner Day Compost

The Austrian Compost & Biogas Association invites to the compost industry exhibition to Grafenstein (Carinthia). There will be presented innovations, set up trends and visions will be discussed.


In Austria, currently almost 460 compost plants transfer about 1 million of biogenic wastes to the high quality product compost. The development of new technologies through innovative partnerships between plant operators and technic engineers has enabled the progress in the area of composting.

Whether mobile machines for crushing biomass, newest techniques in the area of converters, strainers, measuring and controlling, as well as manipulating and transporting will be presented to an international audience. Please have a look at our last event at:

Over 1000 visitors, from farmers to large-scale plant operators, are expected. All relevant companies will present their technologies. This exhibition is the most important event for compost producers and the compost industrie.

19th September 2013, start at 9 o’clock.
At the area of the compost plant Grafenstein (46.642, 14.487)
A-9131 Grafenstein
You will find the program under: shortly.


Seminar Biowaste Sofia2013

The implementation of sustainable biowaste management is currently one of the big challenges e.g. for Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern European countries. Support with knowledge and expertise is required for developing a consistent policy and the regulatory framework and implementation tools need to be provided to local authorities for fulfilling the regulation of the EU Landfill Directive. This was the reason for our international Seminar "Implementation of Organic Waste Management in Southern and Eastern European Countries – Status, Challenges and Solutions" in, Sofia, Bulgaria.

The very successful seminar  with 25 presentations and 170 participants from 24 Countries including the ECN workshops was a good opportunity for policy makers, authorities, environmental, waste and agricultural experts to network about successful management of biowaste, best practice and policy measures in the organic waste sector of Member States.

The presentations are now available for download as pdf from the Seminar website



European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform

At ESPC 2013, the European Phosphorus Platform was launched. Over 150 organisations already signed the joint declaration with the outlines of the platform, which will be directly connected to the European Innovation Partnerships on Raw Materials, Water and Sustainable Agriculture and the research and innovation agendas of Horizon 2020.

The Phosphorus Challenge

Phosphorus is essential for life on earth. Phosphorus is needed for fertilizers, we use for feed and food. For our food security and avoiding environmental damage, it is urgent that we take action with efficient use, more recycling and smart cooperation.
For phosphorus, Europe depends on only a few exporting countries. Supplies are finite and there is no guarantee how much raw phosphorus will come to Europe; and to what price! At the same time we waste a lot of phosphorus in the food chain.
For a 2,5 minute explanation of ‘the Phosphorus Challenge' please watch and share the animated film as youtube-video or on


ECN chaired the Round table on Recycling from Organic waste

The Europaen Compost Network (ECN) and the Flemish public waste organisation (OVAM) helped co-ordinate two interactive round table sessions on ‘Recycling P from Organic Waste’ on day one of the 1st European Phosphorus Conference. Two sessions were held, which were led by Dr Stefanie Siebert (ECN), Dr Adrie Veeken (Attero, NL) and Nico Vanaken (OVAM, BE). read more....


EU Commissioner Janez Potočnik announced the Consultation on Biowaste Targets

Organised by the Dutch Nutrient Platform, the 1st European Sustainable Phosphorus Conference (ESPC2013) was held on the 6 and 7 March 2013, at the Square, Brussels.  It brought together over 300 delegates from businesses, academia, NGOs, member states and the European Union to discuss the issues surrounding better phosphorous management.

Over the two-day conference, delegates heard presentations from politicians, nutrient experts as well as representatives from fertiliser companies. Overall, the key themes centred on using less, recycling more and co-operation between parties.

Environment Commissioner Dr Janez Potočnik, as key speaker of the second day, stressed the need for improving agricultural efficiency, improving the processing of manure so that it can be transported away from areas of P over supply (such as the Netherlands and Belgium) and phasing out the use of landfill to encourage the recovery of P from biodegradable waste.

The issue of more effective biowaste management was raised a number of times. Answering a question raised by ECN, EU Commissioner Potočnik indicated that targets for biowaste recycling may be developed during 2013. He expects that a public consultation will begin this year, with a draft report proposed for 2014.

The speech of EU Environmental Commissioner, Dr. Janez Potočnik, can be downloaded here.

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