It is widely assumed that biodegradable waste primarily arises from kitchens and gardens of private households, where they are collected in dedicated organic waste bins. However, catering and industry also produce considerable quantities of organic waste. Garden waste is not restricted to private gardens, e.g. maintenance of public parks and green spaces and landscaping efforts also produce considerable waste biomass. Moreover, the industrial and commercial sectors produce waste during the production and processing of foodstuffs.
Exploitation of the valuable potentials of these waste materials and their optimised use require use concepts designed to specifically target individual waste properties, and include all waste biomass. From an environmental angle, a use cascade is most favourable, and therefore recommended. Thus, both energy and valuable products may be generated. The recovery strategy should be adapted to local and regional circumstances, as well as the specific market situation.
For instance, in case of a high demand for high-quality substrates and earths, green waste should be processed separately from other biodegradable waste to allow the production of nutrient-poor composts as an intermediate product. The electricity and heat market situation further determines how fermentation biogas will be distributed.
ifeu guides and supports decisions in waste policy with the development of individual system alternatives and their environmental assessment. For this purpose, we apply Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology, which is also well suited to identify flaws in existing waste management systems for the purpose of further optimisation. The proposal of novel solutions is followed by the implementation stage and its practical challenges. Again, ifeu has many years of experience in the design of implementation concepts based on ongoing in-depth exchange with all relevant stakeholders.