Over recent years there has been a resurgence of interest in composting of Municipal
Solid Waste (MSW). A large amount of source segregated wastes are now composted
across Europe, and the compost is used routinely by many users from domestic
users to commercial users.
Source segregation leaves behind residual organic materials. Composting combined
with mechanical separation processes may provide a means of recovering lower
grade composts and other recyclates both from the residual wastes, and from
general waste collections, where for economic, social or other reasons composting
of source segregated materials is not carried out. This combination of mechanical
and biological treatments has come to be known as “MBT”, and this technique
is seeing an increasing number of applications across Europe.
However, while "MBT" is "new", mixed waste composting is
not, and a large amount of information has been collected about the performance
of composting, sampling and separation systems for mixed waste composting.
It appears that not all of this information is being exploited by MBT developers,
who may therefore be at risk of repeating research that has already been done,
or perhaps even repeating mistakes from the past, or not carrying out adequate
sampling and analysis.
SITA Environmental Trust have supported a project, carried out by r3
environmental technology limited and AEA Technology PLC, to collate the large
body of existing, and apparently forgotten, information about composting mechanically
separated fractions of MSW including sampling and sample preparation issues;
and then to present this information in a form that is easily accessible to
the UK waste management industry, environmental consultants and researchers.
This web site contains the results of this project. Some 1,600 references are
listed in a bibliography. A review of key issues for composting mechanically
segregated fractions of MSW has also been produced, referring to over 640
of these references. This review can be viewed interactively through this
web site, using the left hand contents menu. Each section is accompanied
by the references used in the review, and a full listing of related references
in the bibliography. The bibliography can also be searched directly using
the simple search tool above.
This complete review - but not the bibliography -
can be downloaded as a PDF (1,625 kB),
Click here to download full review
You can also download the executive summary as a PDF (2.5KB)
Click here to down load the executive summary