Compost Quality assesment and eow processus application to 4 types of compost

Analysis of compost is of major importance because it directly impacts on its final destination. According to the level ofcontamination and the national standards in each country, compost can be used on all crops including edible vegetables,on extended agriculture, on restoration lands, as landfill cover or simply landfilled if too contaminated. The End ofWaste process introduced by the Waste Framework Directive 2008/98 and currently managed by the Joint ResearchCentre in Seville is moving a step forward.

Further Author:
Y. Decelle - SITA Belgium

The compost that will acquire the European product status will no longer fallunder the waste legislation, but will be considered as an ordinary good, freely tradable and exportable in all Europeancountries.Methods of analysis in European laboratories therefore need to be harmonised in order to :
1. Establish a sound set of European End of Waste standards, based on experience from various laboratories andon various types of composts, but all based on same methods;
2. Perform analysis on composts that will be valid and trusted across all Europe.
Three ring tests were performed in 2009, 2011 and 2012 on several compost types in order to evaluate the possiblevariations between laboratories results and methodologies. Green waste compost, biowaste compost, municipal solidwaste (MSW) compost and sludge compost have been sampled and sent to specialised labs in Germany, the UK,France, Belgium and Spain. Parameters analysed were heavy metals, physical contaminants, PCB, HAP and agronomicparameters.Discrepancies have been identified between labs for some pollutants and some compost types. In some cases, the heavymetals contents were 100% higher in one lab comparing to another one. The Chromium content is particularly subject toimportant variations between labs. The differences for the other metals are important, but analysis of variances(ANOVA) did not identify significant differences between labs. Physical contaminants are difficult to compare becauseeach country has its own parameters.Significant differences have not been identified between biowaste and green waste compost : except for dry mattercontent, which is more linked to composting methods than to the types of incoming waste, there is no significantdifference between those two compost types made from source separated organic waste. However, Municipal SolidWaste composts significantly differ from the two other compost types on 2 pollutants : Zn and physical impurities. Theyalso significantly differ from biowaste compost on Cd and Hg, and from green waste compost on Cr. Fluoranthen alsosignificantly differs, but the concentration in MSW compost is much lower than in biowaste and in green compost.Based on average results, those three compost types do comply with the proposed End of Waste standards, while sludgecompost does not comply because of higher content in Cu and Zn.The Authors do not see a clear added value of the End of Waste for biodegradable waste because of the followingreasons : a) transboundary movements of compost is not frequent, b) easier access to land will not be obtained throughEoW because National legislation will still be able to limit the use of compost; c) harmonisation of compost standardsthroughout Europe does not have scientifically based grounds; d) some National standards systems will be stronglydisturbed depending on the content of the positive input list of waste.



Copyright: © European Compost Network ECN e.V.
Source: Orbit 2012 (Juni 2012)
Pages: 9
Price: € 9,00
Autor: Jean-Luc Martel

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