ECN e.V.

Network for Organic Resources and Biological Treatment
17 FEBRUARY 2022
EUROSTAT I Municipal Waste Statistics 2020

48 % of municipal waste in the EU was recycled (material recycling and composting) in 2020

According to the newly published municipal waste data by Eurostat (14/02/2022) 40 million tonnes (90 kg per person) of waste were composted in 2020.
This is almost three times as much as in 1995 (14 million tonnes, or 33 kg per person), but composting as recycling operation for municipal bio-waste did not increase from 2019 to 2020. This is alarming, as with regard to the ambitious recycling targets in the revised Waste Framework Directive (EU 2018/851), Member States have to improve the separate collection and treatment of bio-waste. Until the end of 2023 Member States have to ensure that bio-waste is ‘either separated and recycled at source, or is collected separately‘, and the recycling, including composting and digestion, of bio-waste has to be encouraged.
The amount of recycled waste remained stable in 2020. Recycling of materials fell to 67 million tonnes from 68 million tonnes in 2019, corresponding to 151 kg per person (same as in 2019). That means that people in the EU recycled 44 million tonnes (97 kg per capita) more than in 1995.
More information on EUROSTAT here.
EU COM I Public consultation I Deadline: 22 February 2022

Call on the evidence for the revision of the Waste Framework Directive (WFD)

In 2023, the European Commission will adopt a legislative proposal to amend the waste framework directive and it is now doing the official impact assessment. As part of the obligation of consultation, the European Commission launched a call for evidence that will close officially on 22nd February.
The initiative aims to improve the overall environmental outcome of waste management in line with the waste hierarchy and [to improve] the implementation of the polluter pays principle.
The initiative’s objectives are to:
  • decrease waste generation,
  • improve separate waste collection to yield optimal recycling results, including by avoiding contamination of recyclable waste,
  • increase the amounts of waste oils collected and treated in line with the waste hierarchy.
The European Commission explained what are the different options that will be analysed in the impact assessment. During the period of the call for evidence (25 January 2022 - 22 February 2022) stakeholders can suggest the Commission to extend the scope of the impact assessment to additional options to the ones already mentioned. If an option is not analysed, the Commission cannot make a proposal accordingly. For instance, the European Commission says it will assess the impacts (environmental, economic and social) for setting collection and regeneration targets for waste oils.
The regulatory options that the Commission will assess are:
  • introducing targets on waste reduction and/or residual waste reduction; expanding the role of EPR schemes in attaining waste-prevention objectives;
  • improve the separate collection of waste by clarifying and/or restricting the scope of derogations provided for in Article 10(3) WFD;
  • introducing minimum requirements for source segregation and separate collection of waste that facilitate separate collection of used items for re-use and preparation for re-use and high-quality recycling of waste.
Other options include reinforcing the polluter pays principle by expanding EPR schemes to other product categories, like textiles and oils; improving enforcement of EPR requirements, in particular for products sold online; and setting waste oil collection and regeneration targets.
Waste Management & Research I Volume 40 I Issue 01_2022

Citizens need guidance and incentives to improve sorting habits

As separate collection of bio-waste is getting mandatory in 2024, compost and digestate volumes will keep growing in the next few years and bring new important sustainable alternatives to reduce the use of chemical inputs in agriculture and recover soil health. Studies are also showing the carbon sequestration potential of organic soil improvers and their important contribution to the net-zero emissions by 2050.
A recent study made available by the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) identified some key elements to improve quality of separate collection, namely public awareness, fee systems, collection schemes, on-site detection of misplaced waste and the character of the collection areas.
Results show that these factors have the greatest influence on the quality of separate collection of bio-waste. An optimization of technical parts of the system, for example collection logistics or details of the composting process, without a holistic approach that engages with citizens is not enough.
EP AGRI Committee I 3 February 2022

Exchange of views on the Soil Strategy for 2030

During the AGRI Committee meeting of early February 2022, the MEPs held an exchange of views with Director Delgado Rosa from the Directorate-General for the Environment (DG ENV) on the EU Soil Strategy for 2030.
In general, the MEPs addressed several issues during the exchange of views such as building on agricultural land, humus degradation and the suitability of the voluntary approach of the soil strategy. In his presentation, Mr Delgado Rosa underlined the contribution of farmers in addressing soil degradation, which is a threat to food security, human health and the economic well-being of farmers. He argued that an EU legislative framework on soil protection is needed to halt and revert soil degradation, which would complement voluntary actions.
Furthermore, the Commission representative highlighted the Commission’s intention to present a proposal for a Soil Health Law in the first half of 2023, which would respect the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality.
Mr Delgado Rosa highlighted that a new EU-wide common legal framework on soil protection was previously called for by the European Parliament (Resolution) and that the Strategy was welcomed during the Environment Council meeting of 20 December 2021. He further informed the MEPs that the call for evidence for the impact assessment is expected to be launched in the coming weeks.
Mr Delgado Rosa stated that the soil strategy is not only about farming, as it also helps to link the circular economy with other environmental aspects. Additionally, he underlined the role of farmers in the Strategy and noted that the goals on soil protection cannot be reached on a voluntary basis only. He further indicated that the Soil Health Law could include general provisions but allow Member States to find an approach that suits their national situation best.
Lastly, Mr Delgado Rosa underlined the need for organic matter on soil for productivity and for climate purposes and suggested considering integrated grazing management for this. He also informed that the Commission will take a look at soil aspects when evaluating national strategic plans for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
EU COM I Public consultation I Deadline 2 May 2022

Call on the evidence for an impact assessment on the Certification for Carbon removals

This initiative will propose EU rules on certifying carbon removals. It will develop the necessary rules to monitor, report and verify the authenticity of these removals.
The aim is to expand sustainable carbon removals and encourage the use of innovative solutions to capture, recycle and store CO2 by farmers, foresters and industries. This represents a necessary and significant step towards integrating carbon removals into EU climate policies.
The initiative will assess whether
  • An EU certification framework should set common minimum standards for the certification methodologies, including on monitoring, reporting and verification, or provide for comprehensive rules on the certification of each type of carbon removal.
  • The different functions, including the prior validation of projects and the subsequent verification of carbon removals achieved, should be carried out by private operators or by public authorities, possibly as part of a centralized EU system.
Interested stakeholders can give written feedback (max. 4000 words) and/or answer a survey of 11 questions by 2nd May 2022. The link for the consultation on the website of the European Commission is available here.
EP AGRI & EP ENVI Committee I 2 February 2022

Exchange on views on Sustainable Carbon Cycles

In the exchange of views on the Communication on Sustainable Carbon Cycles and the Staff Working Document (SWD) on the EU Carbon Farming Initiative, the Commission informed that it considers agroforestry and the rewetting of peatlands to be amongst the most beneficial carbon farming practices.
The Committees received a presentation from Christian Holzleitner (European Commission, DG CLIMA) on the Communication on Sustainable Carbon Cycles during their meetings in early February 2022. In the exchange of views that followed, carbon farming was addressed as well. He remarked that carbon farming could be described as land managers receiving remuneration for each tonne of sequestered carbon. As a business model it could bring benefits to various areas such as the bioeconomy and soil fertility. Additionally, he noted that the Commission aimed to create a market for carbon farming practices, where food producers and processors can benefit from consumer interest in climate-positive value chains and from the sale of carbon credits to industries outside the food sector. As regards the financing of carbon farming, Mr Holzleitner highlighted the importance of establishing public incentives at the national level and using funds under Horizon Europe. Additionally, he informed that internal discussions are ongoing regarding including carbon farming in State aid rules.

Following the exchange of views in the ENVI Committee on the Communication on Sustainable Carbon Cycles, Hugh McDonald, a representative from the German Ecologic Institute, presented the study on Carbon Farming.
The study focused in particular on
  • determining the greenhouse gas mitigation potential of carbon farming in the EU,
  • how carbon farming could act as a business model where farmers are paid to mitigate climate change, and
  • investigating opportunities for upscaling carbon farming across the EU in a way.
The study identified managing peatlands, agroforestry, soil carbon on arable/pastoral land, livestock and manure management and nutrient management as the five overarching categories of carbon farming practices. Carbon farming was found to bring benefits to both farmers and society in terms of decreasing costs and environmental benefits.
Global Soil Partnership I 28 January 2022

Agriculture ministers reach consensus to protect and use soils sustainably

On 28 January 2022, 68 agriculture ministers from around the world attended the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) – an international conference that is held each year in Berlin – to discuss agri-food policy issues. The topic of this year's was "Sustainable Land Use: Food Security Starts with the Soil".
“Reversing soil degradation is vital if we want to feed a growing global population, protect biodiversity, and help address the planet’s climate crisis,” said the Director-General
of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Qu Dongyu in his message to ministers.
The joint communiqué - adopted by 68 ministers - was presented to: Qu Dongyu, Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Ibrahim Thiaw, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), Gabriel Ferrero de Loma-Osorio, Chair of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) and Luca Montanarella, Chair of the Global Soil Partnership (GSP) Plenary Assembly.
"The GFFA communiqué lays the foundations for the new Global Soil Partnership Action Framework 2022-30. Monitoring soils and data are vital for concrete action on the ground," said Luca Montanarella, Chair of the Global Soil Partnership (GSP) Plenary Assembly.
Talks concluded with ministers at the GFFA agreeing to adopt the recommendations of the communiqué in a show of commitment by countries to fight soil degradation and boost soil health for the benefit of food systems.
The recording of the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture can be accessed here:

Communiqué: Food Security Starts with the Soil
By agreeing to abide by the contents of the communiqué – which is the first of its kind – ministers successfully set ambitious targets and demonstrated dedication to ramp up efforts to stem soil degradation. Some of the key points include:
  • Soils must be protected;
  • Progress must be made with climate change mitigation and climate adaptation;
  • Soil biodiversity is vital for healthy soils. As global land resources are limited, they need to be managed sustainably;
  • Fair (rights-based) access to agricultural land should be guaranteed;
  • Investment, research, innovation and digitalisation can play a significant role in making the use of soils more sustainable;
  • Resilient and sustainable food systems must be supported.
The Communiqué can be downloaded here:

News from ECN Members

The Netherlands improve their biowaste separation through a new input list

In 2020, a uniform 'bio bin yes/no list' was published in the Netherlands. The list aims to allow everyone a better separation so that less organic waste disappears into residual waste and organic waste remains cleaner.
A large number of municipalities now make use of this overview and communicate it to citizens with, for example, stickers on waste containers, videos on the website, with the waste app, and so on.
Personal communication in which residents are addressed about their behaviour is also successful. The aim is to have all municipalities use this list.
The overview can be found here. There is a short list for direct communication and a longer, more detailed list, for reference. Communication materials and other resources can also be downloaded from this website.
When drawing up this new list, the correctness of the content, uniformity, and comprehensibility for the general public were all taken into account.

This article was provided by BVOR NL.

The potential for carbon sequestration in Dutch agriculture

Various measures promote CO2 sequestration in Dutch agricultural soils, including, for example, the extra supply of compost. A target of 04-0.6 Mton extra CO2 sequestration per year in 2030 has been set for agricultural soils in the Dutch Climate Agreement.
The recently published study by Wageningen University & Research (WUR) aims to provide insight into the technical potential for carbon sequestration in Dutch agricultural soils. The technical potential for carbon sequestration in Dutch agricultural soils has been calculated at 0.9 Mton CO2 per year. Therefore the objective of the Climate Agreement is achievable if the measures are also sufficiently applied in practice.
WuR study
Measures that contribute most to carbon sequestration are converting temporary grassland and silage maize to permanent grassland, increasing the share of grain crops, and applying green manures. Compost is also an instrument for capturing a significant amount of CO2.
The potential for carbon sequestration in Dutch agriculture - WUR . research report

This article was provided by BVOR NL.
LIPOR I Portugal

LIPOR renews compost granulation line, doubling its production capacity

With a production capacity of about 13,800 tons per year of compost for agriculture, LIPOR has in its bio waste recovery unit, a compost granulation unit, which allows it, after processing, to be sold on the market under the designation of NUTRIMAIS Granulate.
This year, in line with current market trends, where a significant increase in demand for agricultural composts in granular format is expected, LIPOR has planned the renewal of the production line associated
with this process, which is expected to be fully operational in January 2022 and occupying the same physical area as the existing line, with the addition of some new equipment and reorganization of surrounding areas.
In fact, the new concept of this line includes a set of equipment that make it possible to optimize its capacity, as well as improve the quality of the final product. Given the characteristics of the compost intended for granulation, the solution integrates equipment with sufficient flexibility and efficiency to respond to the evolution of the process. Under these conditions, the implementation of a system of this nature requires the integration of various technologies necessary for the process, from input to obtaining the final product, which include inert extraction systems (densimetric table), crushing and compound calibration (mills), drying and cooling, complemented by management systems with a high level of automation to respond to the operational needs for adjustment and regulation.
It is expected, therefore, that current production, up to around 1 t/hour, will double to at least around 2 t/hour, and that, maintaining the same operating regime, it will have a minimum annual production of around 6,000 tons of compost in granular format, for all types of agricultural practices, and that will be also available for application in Biological mode.
This LIPOR production unit, with an investment of around 1.7 M€, was supported by community funds through Portugal 2020 – Operational Program for Sustainability and Efficiency in the Use of Resources (POSEUR).


Soil4Life I ECBI I 10 March 2022 I

Webinar: Healthy policies for healthy soil: the Green Deal playing field

The new Soil Strategy presented by the European Commission does not only update the measures and targets of actions already taken, but requires a change of vision: Europe must protect its soils and must determine the conditions for keeping soils ‘healthy’. This is not the case today: at least two thirds of Europe’s soil is not in a healthy condition.
The implementation of the Soil Strategy is a priority and urgent challenge, and requires a joint effort of which the Healthy Soil Law and the call for shared responsibility of all 27 EU countries must be part. The webinar, organised by Legambiente (IT) and Zelena Istra (HR) – within the SOIL4LIFE project – in partnership with the European Circular Bioeconomy Policy Initiative, will discuss with representatives from the Commission, Parliament and stakeholders, challenges and opportunity of a new Soil Strategy for Europe.
Please register here:
Save the Date 27-28 April 2022

ECN Annual Meeting and 20th Anniversary

This year ECN will become 20 years old. We will celebrate this with a policy event ‘Compost and Digestate in the Circular Bioeconomy - Healthy Soil or Healthy Life’ under our inntiative 'Save Organics in Soil' on 27 April 2022. The Annual meeting will take place on the following day (28/02/2022) in Brussels. Please save the date!

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.

European Compost Network ECN e.V.
Im Dohlenbruch 11, D-44795 Bochum
T: +49 (0) 234 438 9447
VR4604 - UST-ID-Nr. DE813811932 -
EU Transparency Register: 26513411360-51



ECN-QAS Trade Mark No 011007168
Trade mark for certified quality assurance
organisations, compost and digestate products

facebook twitter linkedin 
Email Marketing Powered by MailPoet