Collation of Existing Information on the Composting of Mechanically Separated Fractions of Municipal Solid Waste

Among many findings, the review identified the following key points:

Composting past and present: past and recent UK and European composting experience shows a cycle of interest and then disinterest in composting of MSW, at present, while it is generally agreed that composts made from source segregated materials are likely to make higher quality composts, there is increasing interest in composting mechanically segregated MSW feedstocks as part of an “MBT” process.  MBT, or mechanical biological treatment, allows a range of secondary materials to be recovered, including compost, albeit of a lower grade.

Feedstocks and composition: the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of mechanically segregated MSW are highly variable.  Contamination of the compostable fraction by trace elements and “inerts” – i.e. non-compostables -  appears to be an intractable problem,

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