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5.3.1. Pyrolysis 13

5.3.2. Gasification 15





6. IN SPAIN 21





9.1. SOURCES 23



Bio-waste is defined as biodegradable garden and park waste, food and kitchen waste from households, restaurants, caterers and retail premises, and comparable waste from food processing plants. It does not include forestry or agricultural residues, manure, sewage sludge, or other biodegradable waste such as natural textiles, paper or processed wood. It also excludes those by-products of food production that never become waste.

Currently the main environmental threat from biowaste (and other biodegradable waste) is the production of methane from such waste decomposing in landfills. The most significant benefits of proper bio-waste management – besides avoided emissions of greenhouse gases – would be the production of good quality compost and bio-gas that contribute to enhanced soil quality and resource efficiency, as well as a higher level of energy self-sufficiency. In practice, however, Member States are often inclined not to opt for composting or bio-gas production, and instead choose the seemingly easiest and cheapest option such as incineration or landfilling and disregarding the actual environmental benefits and costs.

The waste management hierarchy also applies to the management of bio-waste, in specific cases it may be justified to depart from it as the environmental balance of the various options available for the management of this waste depends on a number of local factors, inter alia collection systems, waste composition and quality, climatic conditions, the potential of use of various waste-derived products such as electricity, heat, methane-rich gas or compost. Therefore, national strategies for the management of this waste should be determined in a transparent manner and be based on a structured and comprehensive approach such as Life Cycle Thinking (LCT).

Figure: Municipal waste generated per capita, 2001 and 2010



The European Commission adopted an ambitious Circular Economy Package, which includes revised legislative proposals on waste to stimulate Europe’s transition towards a circular economy which will boost global competitiveness, foster sustainable economic growth and generate new jobs.

Following the provision of Thematic Strategy on Prevention and Recycling of Waste (COM 2005 (666) final) concerning need to address compost standards at EU level and responding to the call made in art. 22 of Waste Framework Directive (2008/98/EC) requesting the Commission to carry out an assessment on the management of bio-waste with a view to submitting a proposal if appropriate the Commission started preparatory work on potential legislative proposal on bio-waste. On 2 July 2014, the European Commission adopted a legislative proposal and annex to review recycling and other waste-related targets in the EU Waste Framework Directive 2008/98/EC, the Landfill Directive 1999//31/EC and the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive 94/62/EC.

Several studies were carried out in support of the waste policy review:

  • Support to the additional analysis to complement the impact assessment (October 2015)
  • Final Report – Ex-post evaluation of certain waste stream Directives (18 April 2014)
  • Support to the preparation of the impact assessment – final report and appendixes
  • Development of a European waste generation and management model
  • Development of Guidance on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)

No policy measure has yet been agreed by the European Commission concerning biodegradable municipal wastes other than the Landfill Directive itself.

The revised legislative proposal on waste sets clear targets for reduction of waste and establishes an ambitious and credible long-term path for waste management and recycling. To ensure effective implementation, the waste reduction targets in the new proposal are accompanied by concrete measures to address obstacles on the ground and the different situations across EU Member States. The main elements of the proposal include:

    • Recycling and preparing for re-use of municipal waste to be increased to 70 % by 2030;
    • Resultado de imagen de Bio-waste Recycling and preparing for re-use of packaging waste to be increased to 80 % by 2030, with material-specific targets set to gradually increase between 2020 and 2030 (to reach 90 % for paper by 2025 and 60% for plastics, 80% for wood, 90% of ferrous metal, aluminum and glass by the end of 2030);
    • Phasing out landfilling by 2025 for recyclable (including plastics, paper, metals, glass and bio-waste) waste in non-hazardous waste landfills – corresponding to a maximum landfilling rate of 25%;
    • Measures aimed at reducing food waste generation by 30 % by 2025;
    • Introducing an early warning system to anticipate and avoid possible compliance difficulties in Member States;
    • Promoting the dissemination of best practices in all Member States, such as better use of economic instruments (e.g. landfill/incineration taxes, pay-as-you-throw schemes, incentives for municipalities) and improved separate collection;
    • Improving traceability of hazardous waste;
    • Increasing the cost-effectiveness of Extended Producer Responsibility schemes by defining minimum conditions for their operation;
    • Simplifying reporting obligations and alleviating burdens faced by SMEs;
    • Improving the reliability of key statistics through harmonized and streamlined calculation of targets;
    • Improving the overall coherence of waste legislation by aligning definitions and removing obsolete legal requirements.

The following legislative proposals on waste have been adopted:

  • Proposed Directive on Waste
  • Annex to proposed Directive on Waste
  • Proposed Directive on Packaging Waste
  • Annex to proposed Directive on Packaging Waste
  • Proposed Directive on Landfill
  • Proposed Directive on electrical and electronic waste, on end-of-life vehicles, and batteries and accumulators and waste batteries and accumulators
  • Analytical note on waste management targets
  • Staff Working Document – Implementation Plan

Two policy variants are being use by the European Countries.

• Standards-only (SO) a policy which establishes only technical standards for materials collection and composting processes (in terms of, for example, heavy metals content); and

• Standards-plus (SP)a policy which not only establishes standards, but which also puts in place requirements for the separate collection of, and / or home composting of, biodegradable municipal waste. For the sake of argument, and for purposes of clarity, these are referred to as the ëstandards-onlyí (SO) and ëstandards-plusí (SP) scenarios.

The focus is very much on the SO scenario for two reasons. In the first instance, the effect of a standards only policy is much less straightforward to predict. Secondly, the SP policy has more certain outcomes and lends itself more readily to quantification of impacts, though these are by no means straightforward to estimate

A number of EU legal instruments address the issue of treatment of bio-waste. General waste management requirements, such as environmental and human health protection during waste treatment and priority for waste recycling, are laid down in the revised Waste Framework Directive which also contains specific bio-waste related elements (new recycling targets for household waste, which can include bio-waste) and a mechanism allowing setting quality criteria for compost (end-of-waste criteria). Landfilling of bio-waste is addressed in the Landfill Directive which requires the diversion of biodegradable municipal waste from landfills. The IPPC Directive (soon to be replaced by the Industrial Emissions Directive) lays down the main principles for the permitting and control of bio-waste treatment installations of a capacity exceeding 50 tonnes/day. The incineration of bio-waste is regulated in the Waste Incineration Directive, while the health rules for composting and biogas plants which treat animal by-products are laid down in the Animal By-products Regulation.


Waste generation and management have been recognized as a priority for Turkey and policies are being developed to overcome existing obstacles. Furthermore, Municipal waste management has been a pressure point for Turkey while being a candidate country for EU accession (TCA, 2007).

The By-Law on Solid Waste Control (14.3.1991 – 20814) is the first important step towards successful waste management in Turkey. Although it is shown to have some shortcomings in its implementation, the MSW management system has been improved by new studies and new regulations.

The main reasons of shortcomings can be identified as:

  • Waste management systems development was not a priority policy area;
  • Duties and powers are distributed among many institutions and organizations, with inadequate coordination and cooperation among them;
  • The fees and taxes collected in return for services were inadequate;
  • The infrastructure (facilities and the existing technical capacity) was limited and the majority of facilities were in need of modernisation.

In 1983, the Ministry of Environment in Turkey published Environmental Law 2872 as the first stage in order to improve the environmental situation in the country. However, there was no consensus on the best option for MSW management in the law.

In 1991, the Solid Waste Control Regulation came into force in order to manage solid waste. The regulation played a fundamental role in solid waste collection, storage, transport, and disposal. The regulation has been continuously updated.

The regulation also focuses on the minimization of hazardous waste and encouragement of recycling. By legal definition, municipal solid waste includes all the waste arising from human activities that are normally solid and that are discarded as useless or unwanted. Municipal solid waste generally consists of waste generated from residential to commercial areas, industries, parks, and streets (Berkun et al., 2005). In cities in Turkey, community initiatives in solid waste management are currently being supported by the municipal authorities, who guide their activities according to the legislation and policies dictated by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MEF).

Environmental policy represents one of the most complex and costly challenges for the EU accession process, with over 300 different pieces of legislation, and rapidly changing requirements. It will require around EUR 60 billion to fully implement this.

The 2006 Turkish National Environmental Approximation Strategy sets out the work plan and costs related to transposing and implementing the relevant EU directives, and includes a financing plan for meeting requirements for significant investment. The same priorities are covered by the 10th National Development Plan. Turkey’s other main environment strategies are: the Strategic Plan (2013-17) for the Strategic Environmental Assessment study and implementation in all sectors.

EU Landfill Directive (99/31/EC) will be carried out by no sooner than 2025. In addition, the ministry of environment has given no specific GHG reduction targets in its “Climate Change Action Plan 2011-2023” published in 2012.

Nowadays Turkey has two fundamental pieces of legislation to govern waste management – the Regulation on General Principles of Waste Management and the Regulation on Solid Waste Control.

The Law on Environment No. 2872 is the central existing law in Turkey where all activities, actions and services with regard to the environment are legally defined. In that sense, according to Article 8: “…It is forbidden to release all sorts of waste and residues directly or indirectly into receiving environment, storing them or being engaged in a similar activity…”5 Moreover, according to Article 29: “…Activities related with the prevention and elimination of environmental pollution will benefit from incentive measures. For that purpose, at the beginning of each year new principles could be set in addition to the existing incentive system by the Undersecretariat of Treasury, based on the opinion of the Ministry…”

Renewable Energy Law No. 5346 The Renewable Energy Law No. 5346 is the central law for the use of renewable energy sources for electricity generation, where all the legally binding clauses and guaranteed feed-in tariffs for each source of renewable energy are defined. With this regard, the generation of biogas from all sorts of waste, the production of energy and its sales to the National Grid is regulated in this

Municipality Law No. 5393 Articles 14 and 15 of the Municipality Law No. 5393 state that “…municipalities are responsible for the provision of all services concerning the collection, transport, separation, recycling, disposal and storage of solid waste…as well as for the removal of waste water and rain water, establishment of necessary waste water treatment facilities or having them established, and for their operation or having them operated…”

Metropolitan Municipality Law No. 5216 Article 7 of the Metropolitan Municipality Law No. 5216 states that “…Metropolitan municipalities are responsible for designing of the Metropolitan solid waste management plan, ensuring its design; except for the collection at source and the



The management of the municipal solid waste constitutes one of the major challenges facing the European cities in the 21th century. The constant growth experienced in the second half of the 20th Century in Europe alongside the urbanization led in the rapid increase of the municipal solid waste. The management of the specific issue is complicated, as they are involved social, financial and environmental impacts.

The European policies about the waste management (as it is expressed through the Directive 2008/98/EC and the “Green Paper”) focus on the management of bio-waste, in two directions: The composting (produced compost are used mainly as soil improver and fertilizer) and the energy recovery (produced biogas is considered as green “fuel”). On this basis set quantitative goals as has been explained in previous points. Today, very different policies apply to municipal bio-waste management, by the European cities. The rapid technology evolution has introduced a “slew” of options regarding the municipal bio-waste management.

In the case of biodegradable wastes, everything that concerns the management of this type of waste is included in the Waste management planning. The establishment of a plan allows taking stock of the existing situation, defining the objectives that need to be met, formulating appropriate strategies, and identifying the necessary implementation means.

The drawing up of waste management plans is an obligation of EU Member States and is required by Article 28 of the Waste Framework Directive (WFD). Member States can ask the regional or local authorities to draw up regional or local plans. The plans shall cover the entire geographical territory of a Member State and need to be in line with the provisions of Article 1 WFD (protection of environment and human health by preventing or reducing the adverse impacts of the generation and management of waste and by reducing overall impacts of resource use and improving the efficiency of such use), Article 4 WFD (the waste management hierarchy), Article 13 WFD (protection of human health and environment), and Article 16 WFD (principles of self-sufficiency and proximity).

Article 28(3) WFD lists the mandatory elements of a waste management plan. Article 28(4) WFD lists additional elements which may be contained in the plan.

Some basic administrative rules concerning waste management planning:

  • Waste management plans need to be evaluated at least every sixth year and revised as appropriate.
  • Relevant stakeholders and authorities and the general public must have an opportunity to participate in the elaboration of the plans, and have access to them once elaborated. The plans shall be placed on a publicly available website.
  • Member States shall inform the Commission of the waste management plans, once adopted, and of any substantial revisions to the plans.

In order to assist national, regional and local competent authorities in preparing waste management plans in line with the requirements of the WFD, the Commission has published a methodological Guidance Note. The Note is non-binding and promotes more coherent and appropriate planning practices in the Member States and Accession Countries, in compliance with the requirements of the EU legislation.

Member States have provided the Commission with details on their laws, regulations and administrative provisions introduced to incorporate the Directive into national legislation. In general, all Member States have properly transposed the requirements of the Directive into their national law and adopted the national strategy and actions to reduce the biodegradable waste going to the landfill. States have elaborated the National Strategic Management Plans incorporating the objectives, goals and actions for the national and local strategies. In some States there is a need for adequate implementation, lack of progress or the continuous revision of plans. Member States were required to provide data about the amount of the biodegradable waste going to landfills. According to the Member State reports (note that for some Member States, figures were not provided for 2009) year by year the amount of the biodegradable waste going to landfills is constantly reduced. Member States have reported to have set up the financial mechanism to ensure the funds for setting up, operation, and closure and after care period of landfills. Regarding planning procedures, Section 1 of the Annex 1 has been transposed into Member States’ legislation, and has been included into their waste management plans. About half of the Member States exempt inert waste landfills from requirements for water control and leachate management. Some States described the technical measurement and landfill permit in more details, nevertheless the given information do not provide the whole overview about the situation in EU. Some Member States stated that they have no changes since the last reporting period and have not provided any details.

Member State Biodegradable municipal waste Other biodegradable municipal waste Total biodegradable waste
2007 2008 2009 2007 2008 2009 2007 2008 2009
Austria 55 69 0 0.2 0 0 55.2 69 0
Belgium(FL) 0 0 0 2 3
Bulgaria 1,400 1,579
Cyprus 371 373 378
Czech Rep. 1,465 1,506 1,503
Denmark 0 0
Estonia 184 179 155 191 184 162
Spain 6,549 6,546 5,641
Finland 976 975 1,302 1,184
France 7,490 7,132 7,040
Germany 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Greece 2,132 2,260 2,271
Hungary 1,077
Ireland 1,475 1,196 1,060
Italy 10,485 9,944 9,556
Latvia 413 371 388 439 392 405
Lithuania 745 752 655
Luxembourg 23
Malta 150 159 150 2 4 11 152 163 161
Netherlands 250 130 120
Poland 4,294 4,100 638 941
Portugal 1,764 1,868 1,766
Romania 3,900 3,650
Slovakia* 153 133 85
Slovenia 282 267 232 0 0 0 282 267 232
Sweden 140 105 47 53 52 52 193 157 99
United Kingdom 23,300 20,500 17,500

According to the Metropolitan Municipality Law (10.7.2004- 5216) and the Municipality Law (3.7.2005 – 5393), sole responsibility for the management of municipal waste falls on the municipalities. They are responsible for providing all services regarding collection, transportation, separation, recycling, disposal and storage of solid wastes, or to appoint others to provide these services (ETC/SCP, 2009). Nevertheless, while fulfilling their duties in collecting and transporting the solid waste to a great extent, they do not show the required level of activity and attention in solid municipal waste management. The great majority of solid waste in the country is still not being disposed in accordance with the legislation (UN, 2010). This situation has been improving by newly adopted management perspectives (MoEU, 2012).

In Turkey, there are 3,215 municipalities, and 16 of them are metropolitan municipalities. A total of 2,984 municipalities have solid waste management services.

MSW comes from commercial services, industries, healthcare facilities, and citizens in Turkey. Some private enterprises are responsible for the collection and transport of solid waste and for the sorting of separately collected packaging waste. After sorting, the packaging waste is directed towards the recycling industry.

The Turkish Ministry of Environment and Urbanization (MoEU) gives licenses to collection, separation and recycling facilities. Whereas there were only 28 licensed facilities in 2003, this number increased to 562 in 2012. Development plans are the main tools for the coordination of public policy in Turkey and they form the basis of policy documents on solid waste (UN, 2010). There have been a number of National Waste Management Plans covering the period 2009-2013. The main aim of the Plan is to determine national policies and the decision-making structure for the preparation of detailed waste management plans for separate waste streams. The latest Plan was made with the aim of fulfilling criteria according to the EU harmonization process (ETC/SCP, 2009). Finally in 2008, the ‘By-law on General Principles of Waste Management (05.07.2008 – 2697) set the framework of waste management in Turkey, from waste generation to disposal so that the procedures are followed in an environmentally sound way (ETC/SCP, 2009).

According to the results of Municipality Solid Waste Statistics Questionnaire of the year 2012 which was administered by TURKSTAT, the amount of solid waste collected was 14,6 million tons in the summer of 2012 and 11,2 million tons in the winter of 2012, with an annual amount of 25,8 million tons according to TURKSTAT 2012. According to these results, the average daily solid waste quantity per capita was 1,12 kg in average. Among the total amount of solid waste collected in nowadays from the municipalities which give solid service, 70 percent of the disposal is to the municipal landfill sites. There are 80 landfill facilities, 3 biomethanization units and 21 landfill gas recovery facilities for municipal solid waste management in Turkey.

According to Turan et al. (2009), the rate of waste generation in Turkey in the areas with the lowest population (<100,000) is 616.9 kpc, whereas in the areas with the highest population (>2,000,000) it is 456.3 kpc. The amount of solid waste generated in Denizli has increased steadily over time, from 0.11 million tons in 1993 to 0.18 million tons in 2006, because of increasing population and economic development. A very recent study reported that the amount of MSW generated from other locations in Turkey, such as Canakkale, Kusadasi-Aydin Manisa, Izmir, Balikesir, and Mugla was 408.8, 839.5, 711.8, 350.4, 324.9, and 365 kpc, respectively. According to the records of the municipality of Corlu Town, 170 tons of waste are collected daily and the waste generation rate is 419.8 kpc (Tinmaz and Demir, 2006).

The present MSW production in G¨um¨us¸hane is approximately 365 kpc or 70 tons per day (tpd) (Nas and Bayram, 2008). Presently metropolitan Istanbul (largest city in Turkey; population in 2009: 12.78 million) in Turkey produces about 5.11 million tons of solid waste per year (Kanat, 2010). A significant change of overall MSW generation from 1998 to 2008 was also observed in this country.

As of 2011, only 46 percent of waste was disposed of in a landfill. To meet universal waste management goals via the Waste Management Action Plan, 2.1 billion euros of investment is needed between now and the 2023 goal deadline. It has been reported that 54 % of household waste is disposed in sanitary landfill sites, while the remaining 44 % is dumped into dumpsites, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat, 2010). 2 % was reported as either undergoing biological treatment or disposed of by other methods.

The waste sector’s general objective is to improve environmental protection, improve citizens’ quality of life by making progress on aligning Turkey’s legislation with the EU’s environment. In the field of waste, activities to comply with the Waste Framework Directive are foreseen, including infrastructure investments, to increase the quantity of recycled waste, reduce biodegradables waste going into landfills and improving final disposal. In principle, landfill investments will be agreed where there is a waste management plan and the landfill is planned in accordance with it.

The plan stipulates the development of regional solid waste processing and recycling facilities and sanitary landfills. Recycling is a nascent but growing practice in Turkey, with approximately 382 plants in operation in 2011. Both Turkey’s Climate Change Action Plan and the Waste Management Action Plan stipulate increased resource utilization through recycling. Remediation and upgrading of existing unsanitary landfills is also a major effort the government plans to undertake through the Waste Management Action Plan. The Ministry of Environment and Urbanization estimates that there are 1,400 of these sites, necessitating a 350 million Euro investment for closure and improvement.



Waste can be separated at source –i.e. the citizen sorts out the waste- or at the end –i.e. a waste company separates the waste after it has been mixed-. When comparing both options source-separated systems not only significantly out-perform commingled collections on both material quality and diversion rate but also cost less. For example, in order to re-melt glass into new containers, a high level of purity and colour sorting are required. Mixed or crushed glass is of no use for re-melting and is usually sold much cheaper for use as aggregate, which has no climate benefit. There is a big environmental benefit to recycling glass – each tonne of glass re-melted in the UK saves 314kg CO2 – so if possible glass should be separated by colour as it is collected. This is why the new Waste Framework Directive of the European Union requires source-separated collection except when it can be proved that it is not “technically, environmentally and economically practicable”(art.11).

But when it comes to source-separate collection there are ways to optimize the process and achieve the highest diversion rates together with the highest purity of materials. In this sense, door-to-door separate collection provides a lot higher results than separate collection in containers. The European best practices in waste management use door-to-door collection.


There are 3225 municipalities in Turkey, and 16 of them are metropolitan municipalities. A total of 3028 municipalities have solid waste management services. The percentage of the population receiving solid waste services increased from 71% in 1994 to 77% in 2004. However, the percentage of municipalities collecting and transporting solid waste in the municipalities is 95%.

In most of the settlement units of Turkey, the collection and transportation components of MSW management are generally well organized. The municipalities spend all of their efforts and budgets for these services.

There are two types of collection systems in the municipal areas of Turkey (Ergun et al., 1998). The first collection system, which is operated in the central parts of the cities and large towns, is curbside pickup. In this collection system, a solid waste collection vehicle stops at each building to pick up the refuse, either in plastic bags or in kitchen bins. Where this system is operated, the waste is collected daily or twice a day. Some residents use specially produced plastic bags, but most use packaging plastic bags of various thickness and sizes. The kitchen bins used by the residents of most regions are not standard, either in size or in manufacturing material. The second collection system, which is commonly practised in small settlements and the poorly developed peripheral parts of urban areas, is the community bin system. Depending on the population of an area, community bins with various non-standard sizes and models are placed on the streets, and waste from these bins is collected by various types of vehicles, ranging from tractors to compactors. The bins are generally emptied or replaced in some municipalities two or three times a week.


As an example of good practice we can explain a new methodology that has been implemented in Spain and was visited by the project members during the study visits. The door-to-door separate collection.

It consists on a mailing box in the buildings of the system and a recycling centre or collection centre which is an area that optimizes waste recycling. It is not a landfill where waste enters to then never leave again. It is a guarded area where urban waste and similar material delivered by citizens and companies is collected in order to recover all the materials that can be recycled and where unrecoverable hazardous wasted can be disposed of safely. All of the waste collected by the door-to-door service (paper, plastic, organic, glass, metals, gardening) can be delivered to the municipal Collection Centre, but only if it is separated.

In Spain the first implementation took place in Catalonia and right now more than 100 municipalities use the door-to door system.

Right now in Spain the percentages of separate collection for those municipalities with door-to-door collection almost triple those with containers. Door-to-door separate collection is not exclusive for Europe; it is happening also overseas and the Zero Waste city of San Francisco in the US is the leading city in recycling the American continent and recycles already 75% of the waste. The Zero Waste practices from around the world prove the convenience -in environmental and social terms- and cost-efficiency of door-to-door separate collection.



The development of municipal waste management in European countries reflects initiatives taken by both the EU and individual countries. The variation across countries reflects a combination of:

    • Differing levels of emphasis on source separation, enabling different approaches to treatment of waste; and
    • Different approaches, relating to historical, economic, geological and cultural factors, to waste treatment.

Some parts of Europe collect separately as much as 60% of all municipal waste (Flanders) whilst others carry out very little separation of wastes. As regards residual waste, some rely very heavily on incineration of household wastes (e.g. Denmark), whilst others landfill the majority of the municipal waste collected (e.g., Ireland, Italy, Spain, UK, Portugal, Accession States).

The EU waste policy landscape has evolved considerably over the last 30 years. One important step was the ‘Thematic strategy on prevention and recycling of waste’ (EC, 2005), which resulted in a revised Waste Framework Directive in 2008 (EU, 2008). Article 4 of the directive includes for the first time a legally binding prioritization of waste management activities. This ‘waste hierarchy’ requires that waste prevention be prioritized and promoted, and that disposal (mainly landfilling) have the lowest priority and be minimized.

The figures of the different selected treatments for the biowaste can be seen hereinafter:



Turkey still has over 2000 open dumps which can be detrimental to the urban environment. In spite of efforts to change open dumps into sanitary landfils and to build modern recycling and composting facilities. Composting is an excellent method of recycling biodegradable waste. However, many composting plants have failed because not enough attention was given to the quality of the product and to marketing activities. Although various forms of incineration are widely used for waste management, there has been increased public debate in the last several decades over the expected benefits and the potential risk to human health that might result from the emission of pollutants. Currently, electricity production from waste incineration is rather low in Turkey. This is because several of incineration plants lack the capacity to produce electricity. Determining methods of final waste disposal requires an understanding of the make-up of the MSW stream. A MSW decision–support system based on integrated solid waste management should be developed for cities in Turkey.

DESCRIPTION OF TREATMENTS In this point a description of the different treatment options available for the treatment of municipal waste are going to be described


The term landfill is used to refer to a wide range of facilities across Member States, from primitive dumps to sites which are engineered specifically for the purpose (and sometimes, for specific wastes), and frequently inspected.

The degradation of biodegradable wastes under landfill conditions creates methane and the Landfill Directive is designed partly to address the issue of methane emissions from landfills. Notwithstanding the fact that inspections take place, and acknowledging the intentions to reduce impacts of landfilling, accidents do happen. Methane gas can build up in pockets and create explosions. For this reason, biological treatment to stabilize waste before landfilling is becoming an important pre-treatment for landfill in some countries. Furthermore, the land area occupied by landfills is considerable.

The business-as-usual scenario is increasingly difficult to define as the situation is changing. Quite apart from space, the principal influences on the degree to which landfill is used may be expected to be:

  • Public opinion in landfills create significant disamenity effects (though these may fall over time as neighbors become accustomed to them); and
  • Member State / Accession State legislation / plans.

Obviously, the Landfill Directive is a most important driver where the latter is concerned. Article 5 (2) sets out a schedule for Member States to reduce the amount of biodegradable municipal waste (BMW) landfilled. This has to be reduced in the following ways:

    • By 2006, to 75% of the amount of BMW that was landfilled in 1995;
    • By 2009, to 50% of the amount of BMW that was landfilled in 1995;
    • By 2016, to 35% of the amount of BMW that was landfilled in 1995.

A 4 year derogation period exists for those Member States who were landfilling more than 80% of all municipal waste in 1995. This includes the following countries: Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom, Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia.

All municipal wastes can be accepted by landfill. These wastes generate different emissions depending upon their potential to degrade under landfill conditions, and this affects the impacts of landfilling.

Different materials also degrade at different rates, and the contribution of different fractions to leachate will vary. Leachate will quite possibly affect groundwater at some later date. Whether, and if so, when leachate will become a problem will be determined in part by the landfill lining and the geological characteristics of the site.

The only end product for landfills is landfill gas, which if collected can be used to generate energy. There will be markets for the energy, and some countries effectively support the generation of energy from landfill gas. The UK has done so explicitly under the Non-fossil Fuel Obligation (NFFO) and will do so implicitly (in future) through exemptions from the climate change levy (which will be introduced for other power sources in 2001).

The final residues in landfills consist of material which has not degraded (in landfill conditions) and the leachate residues which may be treated through various approaches. The former may have substantial carbon content. As such, to the extent that certain materials which might degrade under aerobic conditions do not do so in landfills, landfills may be considered to be a net sequester of carbon. Bramryd (1998) has likened them to a peat-bog for this reason

Two broad types of landfill strategies can be identified. Traditional landfills are uncontrolled and allow leachate to be released into the soil surrounding the landfill without restriction. This ‘dilute and disperse’ method is, however, no longer considered an appropriate operation method in view of the serious risk posed by leachate to groundwater supplies and the potential uncontrolled accumulation, and movement, of landfill gas. Most modern MSW landfills are therefore controlled and operated using the principle of ‘containment’. Landfilled waste is separated from the environment by liners, and both leachate and landfill gas are collected and treated, including after the closure of the landfill.

Containment of waste combined with the operation of the landfill as a large ‘bioreactor’ has been proposed. This involves operating the landfill to accelerate the decomposition processes, such that the production of leachate and landfill gas occurs as early as possible and when the collection and treatment systems are in working order (Bramryd 1998). Mechanical biological treatment (MBT) is a valuable tool for pre-treating wastes prior to landfilling. Such pre-treatment can lead to the material to be landfilled being relatively benign in respect of its potential to generate methane and leachate (MBT is examined below).

In Europe, Eurostat data showed a shift away from landfill disposal since 2001, although the amount of waste generated per household grew from 486 kg in 2001. In that year, 56% of waste went into landfills, 17% was incinerated, 17% was recycled and 10% was composted.

The number of sanitary landfills is increasing rapidly in Turkey, as in 2003 there were 15 sanitary landfills, whereas in the 3 rd quarter of 2012 this number has increased to 68 (MoEU, 2012). There are references in the literature to an informal recycling sector which could be responsible for up to 30 % of MSW material recycling (Metin et al., 2003 The number of economic operators registered to the system is increasing rapidly in Turkey, from350 in 2003 to 15 192 in 2012 (MoEU, 2012).

As of 2013, Turkey imposes no landfill tax. According to The Turkish Ministry of Environment and Urbanization,

WASTE TO ENERGY METHODS Europe has traditionally been the largest Waste to Energy (WtE) technology market in the world. Even in the past five years, it accounted for nearly 60% of the worldwide investments in WtE plants. Despite the Chinese capacity boom and the large Japanese WtE asset, Asia only accounted for something more than 30% of these investments, while North America accounted for 9%. These were the findings of ecoprog’s market study ‘Waste to Energy 2013/2014’.

In mid-2013, approximately 520 WtE plants were operational in Europe. They were able to treat around 95 million tonnes of municipal solid waste (MSW) and commercial waste per year. Over the past five years, the European WtE capacity grew by an annual treatment capacity of 19 million tonnes (24%). In the same period, 73 new WtE plants were commissioned, while only eight older facilities were shut down. All in all, Europe saw a steady and strong growth of WtE treatment capacities for more than 10 years

The actual total installed capacity of waste-to-energy facilities in Turkey is only 447 MW, of which 120 MW or about 25% are in operation. These include all the facilities applying the waste-to-energy technologies, mentioned in Subsection The share of electricity production from waste on total Turkish electricity production, which is mainly fossil-fuel dominated, is actually only 0.2%.62 There are in total 63 waste-to-energy projects whose EMRA licenses are either in force, under evaluation or have reached a suitable status. The plant with largest installed capacity is 36 MW. In terms of installed capacity, ITC with 16% and Ortadogu Enerji with 10% have the highest market shares, followed by Kadirli BES and Büyük Menderes Enerji with a market share of 2.1% and 1.9%, respectively, both being biomass-to-energy facilities. Whereas, waste-to-energy plants from municipal waste and waste water sludge are in operation, no biomass-to-energy plant producing energy from agricultural waste is in operation yet. The total estimated bio-energy potential from municipal solid waste, agricultural waste, manure and waste from forestry and wood processing industry together is yearly 16.92 Mtoe. 63 Therefore, the energy production potential from waste in Turkey can be considered as still mainly unused yet.

The different methods are described hereinafter:


There are different technologies for incineration: mass-burn incineration, fluidized bed incineration and incineration of refuse-derived fuel under the same heading. Of these different technologies, mass burn technology appears to be the most widely used.

In mass burn incinerators, waste is first fed into a feed chute where a ram pushes the waste on to the first section of the incinerator grate. Energy recovery is obtained by the combustion gases transferring their heat to refractory-lined water tube sections as well as convective heat exchangers, both of which feed the boiler. Steam from the boiler can be used for district heating or in a turbine for power production to an electricity grid.

Refuse derived fuel (RDF) is manufactured by sorting wastes to remove wet putrescible and heavy inert (stones, glass, etc.) so as to leave combustible material. The remaining waste is then shredded and either burned directly, or pelletized prior to combustion (usually where the material is burned off-site, so that a densified fuel reduces transport costs).

Fluidized bed incinerators operate with a bed of hot sand. The feedstock is prepared so that it is all of an equal size, sometimes using methods similar to that described above for RDF. The particles of sand and the feedstock are maintained under constant motion (fluidized) by a gaseous agent (air), which ensures good mixing of oxygen and the feedstock. Variations on the basic design exist, but with all, either the sand never leaves the bed, or else it is re-circulated.

Incineration can, depending upon waste composition (which may exhibit seasonal variation), handle unsorted municipal wastes as well as wastes from which materials have already been separated. The different incineration technologies mentioned above may make more or less deliberate attempts to remove specific fractions of waste from the waste stream. For example, garden wastes may be best treated through composting both because of their seasonal nature, and due to the fact that much of the material (e.g. grass clippings) may have quite low calorific value.

One of the principal constraints on the use of incinerators is public opposition. In some countries, people simply do not want to live near these plants owing to problems of disamenity, and the emissions of NOx, SOx, HCl, particulates, heavy metals and dioxins associated with the plant.

Most mixed municipal wastes can be handled by incinerators as long as the constraints in respect of composition and calorific value are respected

Depending upon the system used, a combination of solid and liquid residues will result from this process. These solid and liquid residues then have to be dealt with. In the case of fly ash, the toxic nature of residues requires careful handling and disposal to hazardous waste landfill facilities. There are likely to be important effects stemming from the Landfill Directive where disposal to hazardous waste landfill is concerned, though these will be especially significant where co-disposal is a common practice at present (this will have to cease). Fly ash generation tends to be greater at fluidized bed incinerators.

PYROLYSIS / GASIFICATION Pyrolysis and gasification are relatively new methods for treatment of municipal solid waste and remain relatively unproven in European usage compared with classical moving grate methods. Although the technology is widely used and well established as an industrial process for energy recovery from hydrocarbons feedstock, their use as processes for dealing with heterogeneous, mixed municipal waste streams is at an early stage of development.


Pyrolysis is a process which transforms waste into a medium calorific gas, liquid and a char fraction in the absence of oxygen, through the combination of thermo-cracking and condensation reactions. Pyrolysis involves indirect heating of carbon rich material. The aim is to achieve thermal degradation of the material at a temperature of some 500°C (a range 450- 600°C is observable) in the absence of oxygen and under pressure. The temperature is usually maintained through indirect heating. Suitable feedstocks that can be treated by a pyrolysis facility include sewage sludge, agricultural wastes, mixed organic waste including food waste, garden waste, paper pulp and pre-separated residual waste. Pyrolysis produces gas, liquid and solid char.

The cost of pyrolysis depends on the technology employed and in general it can be said to vary from medium to high. When compared with anaerobic digestion the cost is similar, but it is typically higher than the cost of an incineration facility. On the other hand, the plant scale is usually much smaller and it might be argued that if incinerators were constructed at the same scale, they would have comparable or even higher costs (as the diseconomies of reduced scale are considerable). Hence, such facilities may be better-suited than incineration to scenarios where residual waste is mechanically separated into a smaller fraction for pyrolysis.

Pyrolysis tends not to be an efficient energy conversion technology since much of the fuel produced is consumed within the operation. For municipal waste, it would appear that the major technical problems relate to the input materials. It is generally accepted that these have to be relatively homogeneous in order for the process to function without problems. For this reason, plants tend to be equipped with front-end equipment designed to transform the waste through preprocessing to ensure the proper operation of the facility (such as a shear shredder to adjust the particles size of the feedstock). Equally, pyrolysis may be a suitable process for treating the output of mechanical biological treatment plants.


Gasification involves heating carbon rich waste in an atmosphere with slightly reduced oxygen concentration. The majority of carbon is converted to a gaseous form leaving an inert residue from break down of organic molecules. Gasification is a thermo chemical process involving several steps. First, carbonaceous material is dried to evaporate moisture. Depending on the process, pyrolysis then takes place in a controlled, low air environment in a primary chamber, at around 450º C, converting the feedstock into gas, vaporized liquids and a solid char residue. Finally gasification occurs, in a secondary chamber at between 700-1000º C (dependent on gasification reactor type). Here the pyrolysis gases and liquids and solid char undergo partial oxidation into a gaseous fuel, comprising a variety of gases (dependent on reactor configuration and oxidant used).

A variety of gasification reactors (running at either atmospheric pressure or pressurized) have been developed, including fluidized and fixed bed. There are numerous advantages/disadvantages to each configuration.

Useable energy of some 500 to 600 kWh per tonne of waste is generated by gasification. Gasification technologies have been operated for over a century for coal producing “town gas” and have long been promoted as being a viable, cleaner alternative to incineration for residual municipal wastes. Gasification is more widely used and more developed than pyrolysis for several reasons. First, a highly efficient process produces a single gaseous product. Second, gasification does not have the heat transfer problems associated with pyrolysis. However, plants are known to have closed down due to waste variability and material handling problems. Newer processes have been developed in order to overcome these problems through extensive pre-processing of the feedstock waste.

A number of Gasification and Pyrolysis processes are at commercial scale at the moment, applying a number of combinations of different techniques such as pyrolysis, combustion and gasification. According to a survey carried out in 1997 [Juniper, 1997] there were 16 technologies at varying stages of development with Siemens, Thermoselect and Von Roll being the most advanced European technologies with the first commercial plants in various stages of completion by that time. The Thermo select plant at Karlsruhe, however, recently suffered problems associated with heavy metal emissions. Siemens has also effectively withdrawn from this market, having had problems with carbon monoxide emissions at a plant in Furth


Mechanical biological treatment is a process designed to optimize the use of resources remaining in residual waste. Usually, it is designed to recover materials for one or more purpose, and to stabilize the organic fraction of residual waste. The benefits of this process are that materials and energy may be recovered, void space requirements are reduced and gas and leachate emissions from landfill are significantly reduced. The mechanical treatment phase involves segregation and conditioning of wastes. The process involves primarily the shredding / crushing and screening of materials so as to:

Open waste bags (where necessary);

• Extract undesirable components that may obstruct subsequent processing;

• Optimize particle size for subsequent processing;

• Segregate biodegradable materials in the underflows of primary screening, to be sent to the biological treatment process;

• Segregate materials with high calorific value, such as textiles, paper and plastics, in the overflows of primary screening, to be sent for RDF production. Also, segregate those suitable for further material recovery or to be landfilled; and

• Homogenize materials destined for biological treatment. The type of shredding and crushing machinery to be used will be determined by the materials to be handled, the objectives of the treatment and the required processing capacity.

The permutations regarding the design of the plant are many and varied (see Zeschmar-Lahl et al 2000). In principle, however, all materials can be accepted at such plant, the intention often being, with some of them, to pre-treat / separate prior to landfill / thermal treatment / recycling / recovering specific fractions. It is assumed that the plant is designed to separate a biodegradable fraction from residual waste for biological treatment prior to landfilling, or perhaps, one-off landscaping applications (ìgrey compostî or ìstabilised biodegradable wasteî). Apart from this, the plant may include equipment for metals recovery, extraction of mineral fractions, and for partitioning of high calorific fractions which could be sent for thermal treatment (sometimes through manufacture of RDF). Inert fractions may be landfilled / recycled as appropriate.


Composting is the biodegradation of organic matter through a selfheating, solid phase, aerobic process. This converts organic matter into a stable humic substance. The microorganisms that carry out this process fall into three groups; bacteria, fungi and actinomycetes. While there are no strictly defined boundaries, the biological activity can be seen in three stages: • Stage one is the consumption of easily available sugars by bacteria which causes a rapid rise in temperature. • Stage two involves the break-down of cellulose by bacteria and actinomycetes; and • Stage three concerns the break-down of the tougher lignins by fungi as the compost cools. For this to take place efficiently, five key factors need to be considered; temperature, air supply, moisture content, the porosity of the material and its carbon to nitrogen ratio. Figure 9 below illustrates the emissions from the composting process. These include:

    • emissions to air, including:
  • gaseous emissions such as carbon dioxide, by far the most prevalent gas released in the process, ammonia, methane, and some VOCs (some of which may be derived from biofilters using woody materials);
  • bioaerosols, usually most prevalent when materials are being turned;
  • odours (though these can be controlled in enclosed processes through use of biofilters); and
    • dust
    • emissions to land, related to reject fractions (which can be minimised through source separation). To the extent that these are not biodegradable, or have been stabilised, they are less likely to give rise to problematic emissions if landfilled (where the process deals with source-separated waste); and
    • in open processes, where no controls exist, leachate.

Probably the most problematic of these are issues associated with odour, and potentially, though clear relationships are difficult to establish, bioaerosols. European policy exhibits a trend towards the development of source separated waste collection and composting and the promotion of home composting. Although the popularity of mixed waste composting is declining, it is carried out in France, Greece, Spain, and Portugal, whilst in Italy, Germany, Austria, and other countries; it is being progressively or totally converted to MBT of residual waste. Several countries in the EU advocate the collection of source separated waste using a variety of collection and composting methods.


Anaerobic digestion (AD) is the bacterial decomposition of organic material in the (relative) absence of oxygen. The by-products of this process include biogas (comprising principally carbon dioxide and methane, which is capable of combustion to generate energy), as well as a semi-solid residue, referred to as a digestate. With further treatment ñ normally through composting ñ the digestate from sourceseparated biowastes may be used for agricultural/horticultural purposes. Some countries allow direct application of the digestate onto farmlands (e.g. Sweden, Denmark). The high degree of flexibility associated with AD is claimed to be one of the most important advantages of the method, since it can treat several types of waste, ranging from wet to dry and from clean organics to grey waste. The suitability of the method for very wet materials, for instance, has been addressed as an important feature in those scenarios where source separated food waste cannot be mixed up with enough quantities of bulking agents such as yard waste (namely, many metropolitan districts). AD of MSW has been commercially available for approximately 10 years and in that time, the heterogeneous and variable nature of the feedstock has given rise to a considerable number of different processes in operation in many different countries. This study is concerned primarily with the digestion of derivatives of municipal wastes (specifically source-separated biowaste because of the associated benefits examined below). The inclusion of other feedstocks, such as sewage sludge, alters the quantitative aspects of digestate. However, it is important to note that the mixing of household waste with these feedstocks may improve both the environmental and economic aspects of the process and has been adopted in a number of plants (particularly, co-digestion with slurries and manure at small-scale farm based plants) and may be more adopted widely in the future. For example, the addition of sewage to the organic fraction of MSW will increase the nutrient level as well as adding moisture content. The heavy metal concentration in sludge should be carefully addressed as the tight limit values for quality composted products which exist in some countries might be difficult to meet where sludge is used. In Germany, there is a situation in which residual waste, consisting mainly of food residues and non-recyclable paper, goes through a sieving process (a form of mechanical biological treatment) and the undersize fraction is fed to the digester. Digestion of mixed or residual waste is adopted also in other Member States such as France, Italy, and increasingly in Spain. Hence, the term anaerobic digestion can be used to cover the range of processes covering those that occur in bioreactor cells/landfills to the digestion of source separated materials. Anaerobic digestion generally involves three stages:

    • pre treatment;
    • anaerobic digestion; and
    • post-treatment.


The successful diversion of biodegradable wastes from landfill relies on the separation of these wastes at source. Whilst the biodegradable fraction can be extracted from mixed wastes, this is laborious and produces a contaminated product.

Separation at source offers the opportunity of a high-quality clean feedstock for composting and the prospect of an uncontaminated product. A ‘clean’ waste collected via separate collection is more likely to meet compost standards and be suitable for sale or use, bringing associated environmental benefits. Use of the compost end product offsets the requirement for other soil conditioners, such as peat, in agricultural and garden uses.

Separation of biodegradable wastes at source also allows for the promotion of home composting, or composting within small, local communities. This management route for biodegradable wastes has two major advantages: the environmental impacts of waste transport and handling are avoided; and there is generally a use for the compost product by the householder, closing the recycling loop and realising environmental benefits from the offset use of other products (in contrast to the problems sometimes experienced in finding a ‘market’ for composts produced centrally). Additionally, separating their own waste stream will raise the awareness of householders regarding waste generation and help develop a sense of responsibility for their waste.

More generally, composting as a technology is adaptable and suitable for treating wastes in a variety of socioeconomic and geographical locations. Despite the range of treatment technologies from simple home composting schemes to high-tech centralised systems, both the technology and the associated collection systems can be implemented relatively simply and inexpensively. Public acceptability for composting schemes is also high in comparison with other technologies such as incineration or landfilling of wastes.

Furthermore, the compostable fraction of waste is often one of the most polluting of the waste stream, and implementing such a scheme diverts waste from the traditional disposal routes such as incineration and landfill. As one of the largest fractions of household waste, diverting organic waste from landfill can also significantly contribute to meeting local recycling targets.

In all of the case studies, the most important overriding factor for a successful scheme is good publicity and information, ensuring that stakeholders and scheme participants are involved in the scheme at an early stage, maximising acceptance and participation rates. Most schemes succeed by using a variety of different methods to convey their message to householders.

For example, the Montejurra scheme in Spain had a very intensive publicity campaign involving direct mailing to householders, presentations in villages, campaigns in schools and retirement homes, and advertisements in newspapers and on television and radio. Composting schemes tend to be popular with the local population, creating jobs and a ‘feel-good’ factor. Publicity campaigns promoting the scheme can emphasise these key points

key success factors for separate collection composting schemes have been found to be:

    • setting clear, achievable objectives for the scheme;
    • establishing the right mix of waste types to target;
    • ensuring the scheme infrastructure is organized so as to be effective and also convenient to householders;
    • establishing a market for an end product which is clean due to the separate collection of biodegradable waste; sound financial management and planning;
    • organizing a wide-ranging publicity and information campaign for the scheme, ensuring that the local public are as widely involved in the scheme as possible, particularly in the early stages of scheme development.

Different success stories in the recycling of solid waste have been published by the European Commission in a numerous sheets that can be found in


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AD Anaerobic Digestion

BMW Biodegradable Municipal Waste

CA site Civic Amenity Site

CAP Common Agricultural Policy

CCGT Combined Cycle Gas Turbine

CHP Combined Heat and Power

FEAD FÈderation EuropÈenne des ActivitÈs du Dechet et de líEnvironment

GDP Gross Domestic Product

GMOs Genetically Manipulated Organisms

IPPC Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control

MBT Mechanical Biological Treatment

MHV Medium Heating Value

MSW Municipal Solid Waste

NFFO Non-Fossil Fuel Obligation

OECD Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

PCBs Poly-chlorinated Biphenyls

PFI Private Finance Initiative

PRNs Packaging Recovery Notes

RCVs Refuse Collection Vehicles

RDF Refuse-Derived Fuel

RVF Swedish Association of Waste Management

SO Standards Only (scenario)

SP Standards Plus (scenario)

TEQs Toxic Equivalents

VOCs Volatile Organic Compounds