Bio-waste in Europe - turning challenges into opportunities

Bio-waste in Europe - from challenges to opportunities

Bio-waste in Europe
Ann van der Linden (VITO, ETC/WMGE)
Almut Reichel (EEA)
Publication Date
June, 2020
Language for original content
Key Area

Bio-waste – mainly food and garden waste – is a key waste stream with a high potential for contributing to a more circular economy.

This European Environmental Agency Report provides an overview of bio-waste generation, prevention, collection, and treatment in Europe.

Bio-waste accounts for more than 34 % of the municipal solid waste. Many countries in Europe are far from capturing bio-waste's full potential. Food waste accounts for nearly 60 % of all bio-waste from households and similar sources. Preventing it is felt as an ethical responsibility for society.

Composting (with oxygen) and anaerobic digestion (without) are currently the two most widely applied treatment techniques. The latter generates biogas - renewable energy - and tends to deliver higher environmental benefits.