ECN Guidance on Separate Collection

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  • Create Date 13 January 2022
  • Last Updated 8 September 2022

ECN Guidance on Separate Collection

In 2024, EU member states are obliged by the European Directive (WFD) to introduce separate collection for bio-waste which is a challenge and an opportunity to produce high quality compost and digestate to save organics in soil. The Task Group of the European Compost Network gathering experts of separate collection from different countries drafted this handy guidance to showcase best practices, including incentive schemes and awareness raising campaigns.

The guidance is a useful document for policy makers, public authorities, waste operators and researchers.

Food waste and garden waste are the main fractions of the bio-waste category. Garden waste collection is often implemented in many countries through door to door schemes or through citizens that bring cuttings and pruning from their gardens to the local collection centres. However, implementing a high-quality collection of food waste is more difficult for public authorities. It raises problem of impurities and contamination with other materials that are difficult to remove during the recycling process – e.g. glass, metal and plastic; it requires cooperation and participation and they must have a good monitoring system in place.

By identifying the most common issues in separate collection of food waste, this guidance provides viable solutions for the high quality recycling of food waste into compost and digestate.

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