ECN e.V.

Network for Organic Resources and Biological Treatment
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18 july 2023
EU Commission I European Green Deal

Commission tables new EU Green Deal package focussing on soil, waste and new genomic techniques

The European Commission presented on July 5th its Green Deal package called “sustainable use of plant and soil natural resources”, which contains four different proposals.
The latest array of laws, which not only aims are making sustainable use of key natural resources the norm, but also strengthening the resilience of EU food systems and farming, includes: the Directive on soil monitoring, the Regulation on plants produced by new genomic techniques, the Revision of food waste and textile aspects of the waste framework directive, and the Revision of legislation on seeds and other plant and forest reproductive material.
Soil monitoring law: the objective of the new soil directive is to create a monitoring framework for all soils in Europe. It also aims at making sustainable management of soils the norm, by setting a list of practices to be used in EU countries, as well as requesting them to identify, investigate and remediate potentially contaminated sites.
Food waste proposal: According to the adopted text, Member States are required to take the necessary measures to reduce food waste by the end of 2030 by 10%, in processing and manufacturing, and by 30% (per capita), jointly at retail and consumption (restaurants, food services and households) compared to 2020 levels.

To know more, have a look at the following pages:

Public consultations
After the publication of the new legislative proposals the public consultations on the Soil Monitoring Law and the Food Waste Reduction Targets were opened on 7th July 2023. Please feedback to the public consultation until 8th September 2023!
Soil Monitoring Law

Joint statement on the publication of the Commission’s proposal for a Soil Law

As a first reaction on the publication of the Soil Monitoring Law ECN together with 37 other organisations has signed a joint statement organised by the European Environmental Bureau (EEB).
The organisations welcome the European Commission’s proposal for a Directive on Soil Monitoring and Resilience (Soil Monitoring Law). Unfortunately, the proposal falls short of expectations. The change of name of the directive, which was originally to be called ‘Soil Health Law’ is symbolic of its lack of ambition and its shift away from soil health towards mere soil monitoring. With this statement, we would like to express our support for this initiative but also stress how it can be improved in order to achieve the objective of healthy soils by 2050.
The lack of dedicated EU soil legislation has led to very partial protection of soils and highly fragmented governance. A strong Soil Law has the potential to change this. Healthy soil ecosystems connect many of our most important challenges, including tackling the climate, biodiversity and pollution crises, ensuring food security and conserving global water, nutrient and carbon cycles. These challenges are transboundary and a coherent European approach is long overdue.
Overall the Commissions’ proposal includes binding monitoring soil descriptors, including ‘loss of organic carbon’, ‘soil erosion’, ‘subsoil compaction’ and ‘salinization’ with criteria which are a first step for observing the soil health status but it lacks of binding criteria for several aspects like contamination and water holding capacity, and no criteria a set for soil biodiversity or topsoil compaction. However, the legislative proposal does not include any targets and it is up to the member states, how the so-called ‘soil descriptors’ are monitored and evaluated.
For reaching soil health by 2050 the Commission has laid down sustainable soil management principles’ which have to be respected by Member Stats in the implementation in the different programmes, like the strategic plans under the Common Agricultural Policy.
The Commission’s proposal on a Soil Monitoring Law is a first step forward, but it needs further improvement and overall a supportive implementation on member states level.
Please find the Joint statement on the publication of the Commission’s proposal for a Soil Law here.

News from ECN

Annual Meeting I Brussels I 21-22 June 20023

ECN Annual Meeting and Networking Meetings on Soil & Organic Matter and Separate Collection of Biowaste successfully held

The European Composting Network (ECN) recently concluded its annual meeting on June 22nd in Brussels, alongside task group meetings dedicated to separate collection and soil & organic matter. The events took place in the office of European Environmental Bureau and at the Renewable Energy House and was attended by 21 participants.
Following a long period of dedicated involvement, Tomasz Wojciechowski (GWDA, PL) and Domantas Tracevičius (NGO Ziedine ekonomika, LT) have decided to step down from their positions. The ECN extends its heartfelt appreciation for their valuable contributions. On a positive note, Horst Müller representing the Austrian Compost & Biogas Association (KBVÖ, AT) was unanimously voted to continue serving for another three-year term. Moreover, the ECN is pleased to welcome Tony Breton form the Composting & Anaerobic Digestion Association of Ireland (Cré, IE) as its newest board member.
Currently, the ECN is represented by a total of eight board members from national biowaste organisations: Kristel Vandenbroek (Chair of ECN, Vlaco, BE), Massimo Centemero (Vice-Chair of ECN, CIC, IT), Irmgard Leifert (Treasurer of ECN, BGK, DE) Jens Måge (Avfall Norge, NO),), Arjen Brinkmann (BVOR, NL), , Horst Müller (KBVÖ, AT), Susana Lopes (Lipor, PT), and Tony Breton (Cré, IE).
Research study on the impact on soil health presented from Australia, Spain and Italy
The Task Group Meeting on Soil & Organic matter was opened with a key speech by Susanne Schmidt from the University of Queensland in Australia presenting a precision compost strategy aligning composts and application methods. In addition, the attendees had the opportunity to hear from two external speakers, Simone Bergonzoli and Juan Jose Ríos from Italy and Spain, who presented their joint "Study of soil treatment effect on sunflower: influence on nectar composition and plant physiology." The study findings demonstrate the significant influence of soil quality on both nectar production and characteristics, highlighting compost as an effective means to enhance the latter. This underscores the importance of maintaining soil quality for overall plant health.
Best Practices on separate collection of biowaste
Furthermore, the task group meeting on separate collection was enriched by a productive and engaging discussion. Numerous members actively shared best practices implemented in their respective countries and municipalities. Additionally, the meeting featured a detailed discussion on the Life BioBest project, which offers valuable insights for promoting the widespread adoption of effective biowaste recycling practices throughout Europe. Follow-up meetings on the exchange of best practices on separate collection and setting up guidance on the production of high quality compost and digestate will follow over the next two years.
Please join ECN’s Task Groups
As network on biowaste management, ECN welcomes the active involvement in its task groups as this will guarantee that different experiences, challenges and success stories will be reflected in ECN’s policy work. Members, who are interest to join ECN’s task group, please get in touch with ECN’s Task Group team by sending an email to

Photo: Participants of ECN’s TG meeting Soil & Organic Matter


8th International Practitioner Day on Composting in Vienna

On September 7th, 2023, the 8th International Practitioner Day will be held at the MA 48 Composting Plant in Vienna (Lobau, Lobgrundstrasse).
This exceptional event is set to gather professionals from the composting industry, both domestically and internationally. One main highlight of the event will be the exciting competition and quest for the finest compost in Austria. Moreover, the prestigious Austria-wide KompOskar will be bestowed this year!
You can register here.
Click here to check out the program!

ECN organises workshop on Quality Assurance of Compost and Digestate

As part of the Life BioBest project, ECN is organising a workshop to bring together its experts on quality assurance of compost and digestate. The task will be to bridge the gap between the quality of biowaste entering a treatment plant and the quality of the final product. The workshop is schelduled on 14-15 November 2023 in Brussels. A tentative agenda will be sent to ECN's TG members and to the relevant experts soon.

Thematic Seminar and Study Visit in Bolzano (Italy)

As part of the CORE project, the ECN has been invited to a three-day Thematic Seminar and Study Visit in Bolzano-Bozen from the 26th-28th of September. The Study visit will provide valuable insights into the prevention of organic waste in rural areas and the regulation of composting in such regions.As part of the visit, the project partners will be presented with good practices on the "Prevention of Organic Waste in Rural Areas" and on the "Regulation for composting in rural areas". During the three-day event, project partners will have the chance to explore local composting and anaerobic digestion facilities, as well as visit various recycling and composting plants. The ECN is excited about the upcoming trip.


ISWA I 4-8 September 2023

Study Tour on Decentralised Bio-Waste Recycling

This 4th international study tour and training course will lead you through multi-dimensional best practices and nearly 35 years of experience in decentralised organic waste recycling.
In B2B meetings and practice-orientated lectures, the entire chain of a well-structured national and local biowaste recycling regime will be covered. As a special highlight, the 8th International Practitioner Day on Composting, Europe’s biggest show of bio-mass and compost processing machines organised by the Compost and Biogas Association Austria, will be visited.
ECN Members will receive tickets at a reduced price!
For more information and to register, click here!
Organics Recycling Conference 2023 I Montréal (Canada) I 27-29 September 2023

Towards Victory in Organics Recycling - For Healthier Soil, Healthier Food & Climate Protection

The Compost Council of Canada is organising its 33rd Annual Organics Recacling Conference under the theme 'For Healthier Soil, Healthier Food & Climate Protechtion. Organics recycling is a vital strategy to combat climate change and improve our well-being. Through teh diversion of food scraps, yard trimmings and other organic materials from landfills and into organic recycling programs, we reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enrich the soil, portect biodiversity and conserve water. The three-day plan involves organics recycling facility tours as well as presentations and time to network, meet exhibitors and capitalize on training opportunities.
Early Bired Conference Deadline: August, 22
For more information:

S.O.S Save Organics in Soil

This international initiative S.O.S. SOIL – Save Organics in Soil, led by the European Compost Network (ECN) and the Italian Composting and Biogas Association (CIC), aims to highlight the importance of soil organic matter to encourage policy makers to develop instruments to move Europe towards implementing sustainable, climate proof soil management practices.
Sign the manifesto 'Save Organigs in Soil' here.

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