UK – composting doubles in two years

The amount of material being composted in the UK increased 100% between 1999/00 and 2001/02 according to The Composting Association’s latest survey of the composting industry.

The State of Composting in the UK 2001/2 indicated that 1.66 million tonnes (Mt) of material was processed at 218 composting facilities.

The State of Composting in the UK 2001/2 was funded by the Environment Agency and the Waste and Resources Action Programme. Of the 1.66 Mt processed, 72% (by mass) was municipal household waste, 8% municipal non-household and 20% commercial waste. The industry as a whole was dominated by green waste composting, which accounted for approximately 80% of the raw feedstocks (by mass).

A further 6% was food wastes, 3% kitchen and garden wastes and 11% was a mixture of other organics including forestry, sewage sludge and paper/cardboard.

Dr Jane Gilbert, Chief Executive of The Composting Association, welcomed the report saying “Using proven, reliable and affordable treatment processes, the composting industry is continuing to develop at a significant rate with the number of composting facilities increasing at 25% per year over the past 6 years. During this time the industry has been dominated by green waste composting but I fully expect that to change in forthcoming years now a framework is in place to enable the treatment of other biodegradable wastes such as catering and kitchen wastes.”

The report indicated that these drivers are already beginning to shape the industry, with the proportion of waste composted using in-vessel technologies increasing from 5% in 1999/00 to 11% in 2001/02.

The State of Composting in the UK 2001/2 also highlighted considerable geographical variation in the amount of composting taking place within the UK. England composted far more than any of the devolved nations, approximately 1.5 million tonnes, compared to Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales that each composted less than 60,000 tonnes.

Further analysis revealed the amount collected per household was similar in England (72 kg/household/annum) and Northern Ireland (73 kg/household/annum), both of which collected more per household than either Wales (31 kg/household/annum) or Scotland (25 kg/household/annum).

Market development has a key role to play in the long term future of the composting industry. The survey recorded approximately one million tonnes of composted products produced in the UK. Over one third was utilised in outlets with a high pecuniary value including horticulture, landscaping and domestic gardening. One third was used as landfill restoration or daily cover and remainder was used in agriculture.

Overall, the majority of products were utilised as soil improvers and mulches, other significant product categories identified included growing media, turf dressings and topsoils.

The State of Composting in the UK 2001/2 is free to download from the Composting Association’s website

Ano da Publicação: 2003
Fonte: WARMER BULLETIN ENEWS #37-2003: December 20, 2003
Autor: Kit Strange/Warmer Bulletin
Email do Autor:

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