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Bio-waste in Europe - turning challenges into opportunities

Bio-waste in Europe - from challenges to opportunities

Type:

Author: 
Ann van der Linden (VITO, ETC/WMGE), Almut Reichel (EEA)
Publication Date: 
June, 2020
Country: 
EU

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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.