Bio-waste

Bio-waste, such as agricultural wastes, municipal solid wastes, sludge, waste water and food
wastes, are currently seen as low-valued materials. However, they are beginning to be recognized as resources for the production of a variety products. Agricultural wastes, for instance, contain high levels of cellulose, hemicelluloses, starch, proteins, as well as lipids. As such, they constitute inexpensive candidates for the biotechnological production of liquid biofuels without competing directly with the ever-growing need for world food supply. As bio-wastes are generated in large scales, in the range of billions of kilograms per year, thus largely available and rather inexpensive, these materials are seriously considered to be potential sources for the production of bio-fuels.

As defined in the revised Waste Framework Directive7, bio-waste includes:
• Garden and park waste;
• Food and kitchen waste from households, restaurants, caterers, retail premises and comparable waste from food processing plants.
Bio-waste does not include forestry or agricultural residue and, thus, should not be confused with the wider term “biodegradable waste” as defined in the Landfill Directive (1999/31/EC), which also covers other biodegradable materials such as wood, paper, cardboard, sewage sludge, natural textiles.

The value chain of biomass waste

For waste biomass is the waste hierarchy not so clear due to the emerging technologies. Biological materials can be radically transformed, either physically, chemically or biologically into a broad plethora of end use products with significantly different properties and end-use market values. Generally speaking there is rough correlation between the technological cost and complexity input into the transformation of the biomass waste and its end-use market value. These end-use products and applications are therefore better considered as a value chain than a hierarchy, where biomass waste is the input feedstock.

Figure: The value chain of biomass waste

Waste Biomass Value Chains

Source: pennotec.com

Recycling of biowaste kg per capita geo/ time 2014 2015 2016
Belgium 75 77 80
Bulgaria 76 78 81
Czech Republic : : :
Denmark 87 80 84
Germany 8 43 37
Estonia 9 13 23
Ireland 144 150 149
Greece 114 114 113
Spain 17 13 10
France 39 : :
Croatia 15 12 17
Italy 62 53 51
Cyprus 91 92 93
Latvia 8 7 7
Lithuania 80 86 94
Luxembourg 21 30 25
Hungary 13 24 42
Malta 41 46 104
Netherlands 121 111 121
Austria 24 23 30
Poland 0 0 0
Portugal 143 143 144
Romania 175 175 181
Slovenia 30 46 50
Slovakia 64 72 77
Finland 20 18 18
Sweden 30 34 69
United Kingdom 17 24 26
Iceland 70 62 65
Liechtenstein 72 70 72
Norway 79 79 82
Switzerland 46 44 50
Montenegro : : :
Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 68 70 77
Albania 153 151 155
Turkey 2 2 2
Serbia 0 0 0
Source of Data: ec.europa.eu/eurostat
Short Description:The indicator is indirectly measured as the ratio of composted/methanised municipal waste (in mass unit) over the total population (in number). The ratio is expressed in kg per capita.
The underlying assumption is that, by and large, the only reasonable treatment of biowaste is composting or anaerobic digestion.