Organics Recycling or Bio-waste is defined as biodegradable garden and park waste, food and kitchen waste from households, restaurants, caterers and retail premises, and comparable waste from food processing plants.
It does not include forestry or agricultural residues, manure, sewage sludge, or other biodegradable waste such as natural textiles, paper or processed wood. It also excludes those by-products of food production that never become waste.
Currently the main environmental threat from biowaste (and other biodegradable waste) is the production of methane from such waste decomposing in landfills, which accounted for some 3% of total greenhouse gas emissions in the EU-15 in 1995.
The Landfill Directive (1999/31/EC) obliges Member States to reduce the amount of biodegradable municipal waste that they landfill to 35% of 1995 levels by 2016 (for some countries by 2020) which will significantly reduce this problem.
The Landfill Directive does not prescribe specific treatment options for the diverted waste. The most significant benefits of proper organics recycling – besides avoided emissions of greenhouse gases – would be the production of good quality compost and bio-gas that contribute to enhanced soil quality and resource efficiency, as well as a higher level of energy self-sufficiency.
Why is Organics Recycling important?
The UK produces over 8 million tonnes of food waste every year. The majority of this ends up in landfill, where it is highly detrimental to the environment. Landfilled food can emit methane – a potent greenhouse gas that is 23 times more damaging to the atmosphere than carbon dioxide.
To reduce methane emissions, the EU Landfill Directive obliges local authorities to send less biodegradable waste to landfill. Composting and anaerobic digestion plants can help local authorities meet these challenging goals and reduce their waste disposal costs.
Kerbside green and food waste collection schemes can significantly shrink a household’s net greenhouse gas emissions.
Windrow Composting uses garden waste – grass cuttings, leaves, weeds and hedge trimmings – from Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) and kerbside collections.
- Over 12 weeks it is shredded, mixed and placed into huge windrows, or elongated piles.
- The material is turned regularly to let oxygen circulate.
- Bacteria break down the material to produce heat which transforms and sanitises the product, turning it into rich, dark compost.
- Once the material is sorted and shredded, it is processed in an enclosed building where optimum temperatures and oxygen supply are maintained to accelerate the composting process.
If you have a product/service enquiry or if you are looking to invest in a new piece of waste machinery, please contact us and a member of the M&K team will contact ASAP.