GERMANY: Waste composting will grow without harming incineration industry

Germany waste disposal trade association believes growth in the separation of biodegradable waste for composting and eventual re-use will not threaten the country's incineration sector.

“Incinerators have enough waste,” Hanskarl Willms, executive director of the Federal Association of the German Waste Disposal Industry (BDE) told edie. The BDE supports efforts by the German government to revise legislation in order to encourage higher levels of composting. Revision of the country’s Technical Guidance on Household Waste is focusing on the standards that must be achieved by mechanical-biological plants that accept biodegradable waste for composting and eventual re-sale.

At this stage, mechanical-biological plants are composting waste and selling it on to plant nurseries, landscaping companies for use on motorway verges and for the regeneration of brown coal sites in the former East Germany.

German farmers, however, have been reluctant to accept the soil that comes from composted waste. “Farmers want to be paid to receive it and the risks they think go with it,” says Willms.

Unlike the waste incineration sector, which is dominated by local authorities, Germany’s waste composting industry is almost entirely in the hands of private companies.

The BDE is co-organising Entsorga, an international fair for recycling and waste disposal in Cologne at the end of June. Waste composting technology will be on display. The Entsorga show, running from 26 to 29 June, is the largest waste management exhibition to take place this year and will feature 1,4000 exhibitors from about 30 countries.

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