ECN e.V.

Network for Organic Resources and Biological Treatment
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27 MAY 2024
EFSA I Scientific opinion published

Two alternative methods for treating animal by-product-derived materials in composting

In 2023 the European Compost Network ECN submitted two alternative methods for the treatment of animal by-products such as kitchen waste from households, canteens and restaurants, in tunnel composting for the authorisation in accordance with Article 20 of the Animal By-Product (ABP) Regulation (EC) No 1069/2009. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has now published its scientific opinion on these two alternative methods of tunnel composting. It was concluded that these methods are as effective as the current treatment standard for kitchen and catering waste under the ABP Regulation meaning 70 °C for 1 h 12 mm.
ECN proposed two alternative time-temperature profiles to comply with the ABP Regulations. In practice, this means a lower temperature (55°C or 60°C) during the hygienisation phase and taking into account that the particle size of catering/kitchen waste constituents may be larger than 12mm. These conditions are realistic for composting systems operating to convert biowaste (catering/kitchen waste) into compost.

The proposed new standards
The following two standards have been proposed for the composting of catering waste and processed foods, including kitchen waste from households:
Standard 1:
  1. maximum particle size of ABP before entering the tunnel: 200 mm;
  2. minimum temperature in all material in the tunnel unit: 55°C; and
  3. minimum exposure time in the tunnel unit without interruption: 72 hours
Standard 2:
  1. maximum particle size of ABP before entering the tunnel: 200 mm;
  2. minimum temperature in all material in the tunnel unit: 60°C; and
  3. minimum exposure time in the tunnel unit without interruption: 48 hours
As the EU Fertilising Products Regulation (EC) 2019/ only recognises the EU animal by-products transformation standard of 70°C for at least 1 hour with a maximum particle size of 12 mm for all types of animal by-products (ABPs) destined for composting, no compost derived from catering waste will be certified as an EU fertilising product under this regulation, creating a significant barrier to transboundary acceptance and trade.
Therefore, the effect of lower temperature and larger particle size on pathogen inactivation and overall risk reduction was evaluated in the application submitted by ECN. It was demonstrated that the proposed composting processes were effective in achieving a reduction of at least 5 log10 of Enterococcus faecalis and Salmonella Senftenberg (775W, H2S negative) and at least 3 log10 of relevant thermoresistant viruses.

''The EFSA Panel on Biological Hazards (BIOHAZ) concluded ‘that the two alternative methods under assessment can be considered to be equivalent to the processing method currently approved in the Commission Regulation (EU) No 142/2011.''

It is now up to the Commission to take measures to authorise these two methods as standard transformation parameters in the ABPs Regulation.
European Parliament | Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation

European Parliament agrees on rules to curb packaging waste

During the last Plenary sitting of its mandate, the European Parliament finds an agreement on the hugely debated packaging law, adopting new rules to address raising number of packaging waste in Europe.
For the first time, the Regulation puts forward rules to prevent waste generation, promote reuse and refill options and reduce unnecessary packaging. Compostable packaging is considered as favored option only for a limited list of items, which will have to be made compostable by 3 years from the entry into force of the legislation. The aforementioned items are sticky labels on fruits and vegetable, and permeable tea and coffee pods. The new provisions give a mandate to the Commission to initiate the revision of standard EN 13432 on compostability of packaging within CEN (EU standardization body) and empower the EU executive to revise the list of compostable items in the future. To better inform consumers, Member States are obliged to follow clear labelling rules on compostable packaging. As a next step, the Council has to formally adopt the same text, possibly during the next meeting of Environment Minsters in June.
Read the full text here.
EU Commission I Certification Framework of Carbon Removals

4th EU Carbon Removals Expert Group meeting

The Commission’s expert group tasked with the development of methodologies to certify activities under the Regulation on a Union Certification Framework of Carbon Removals (CFCR) gathered for the fourth time in mid-April.
Over the course of the three-days meeting, the Commission informed about the content of the current provisional agreement of the CFCR, and discussed existing certification and verification processes with members of the group, to test the ground for a harmonized general approach. The EG also delved into the different type of activities that can be certified under this framework, namely carbon farming, carbon storage in products and permanent removals.
The presentations and recording of the event are available here.
For ECN members, an ECN Policy brief on the Certification Framework of Carbon Removals was published in May 2024.
Aktion Biotonne I Germany

Foreign matter in organic waste bins is reduced by up to 67%

Since last year, almost 30 local authorities and waste management companies have been taking part in the nationwide #biotonnechallenge as part of Aktion Biotonne Deutschland, working together with their citizens to reduce the amount of foreign matter in organic waste bins. Initial results show that the campaign, which has been running for several months, is working: Some districts have been able to reduce their "foreign material rate" from just under 4 per cent to 2.1 per cent. In a residential area in Mürzzuschlag (Austria), Challenge participants have reduced their rate by 67 per cent.
If you are interested in the topic of separate collection: The ECN has published a guide on separate collection which showcases best practices, including incentive schemes and awareness raising campaigns.


ECN welcomes new members

In April two new composting organisations operating composting plants in Cyprus and Portugal joined ECN:

Premier Shukuroglou is a Cyprus-based company with diversified activities in many sectors such as crop protection & nutrition, animal health 6 nutrition , waste management and hobby gardening. An important activity of the company is green waste management and the production of compost, which is currently used int eh production of potting soils. The compost line is marketed through home & garden outlets, DIY stores and others all over Cyprus. Premier Shukuroglou also explores possible expansion into large-scale organic waste composting for field crop application.
Further information here.
VALORSUL S.A. Portugal
Valorsul is a company owned by the Mota-Engil Group and operates under the EGF Holding. It is the leading company in waste treatment and recovery in Portugal.
Valorsul is responsible for an anaerobic digestion and composting plant that processed 46,742 tons of separately collected biowaste in 2023. Through this facility, the treated biowaste yields two primary products: biogas and compost. This compost is classified into two categories: Class I compost, derived from green waste, and Class II compost, composed of food waste. Following digestion, the digested product is dehydrated and then undergoes the composting process, resulting in an annual production of approximately 900 tons of compost.
Further information here.

Soil Mission work programme 2024

The call for proposal on the Soil Mission work programme 2024 has been published. These calls include 9 topics for 13 projects and a total budget of 134.5 million Euros. Topics included in the programme are: soil health in Living Labs, Living Labs in urban areas, dynamic monitoring of soil erosion, systems to quantify nitrogen fluxes, pollinators and key ecosystem functions, soil biodiversity for healthy cropping systems, high spatial-resolution monitoring approaches for carbon farming, forest peat soils, and soil health in Africa.
Calls are open from 8.5.2024 until 8.10.24, and can be found here.
Cities and Policy Conference I 4-5 June 2024

ECN is taking part in the HOOP panel discussion

ECN's Policy Officer Riccardo Gambini will officially participate in the HOOP Cities and Policy Conference as a panelist! The conference will provide a unique meeting point for cities and regions, waste managers, circular bioeconomy experts and policy makers to exchange knowledge and solutions. The Conference is divided across two days:
  • 4 June - Day 1: HOOP Policy Conference: Day 1 will focus on barriers and drivers for the transition to local circular bioeconomy systems, creating a space for cities and regions to voice their concerns and challenges to EU institutions and federations.
  • 5 June - Day 2: HOOP Cities and Regions Conference: Day 2 will tell the stories of the HOOP cities and regions, reflecting on the ups and downs of their biocircular journeys. Experts will share the latest technologies, funding opportunities and stakeholder engagement strategies and the HOOP tools will be presented.
The Conference is hosted at the European Committee of the Regions, in Brussels. Registration is open until 24 May. Click here to see the full agenda and to register.

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.
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organisations, compost and digestate products

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