Guest Blog: “Decentralise Bio-waste Recycling”

Sep 18, 2023 | Biological Treatment of Waste, ISWA blog, ISWA news

Zhiren Ye

Zhiren Ye

ISWA International Event Manager

“As long as you have not understood death and creation, you are just a dull guest on dark earth.” Johann Wolfgang Goethe  

 The ISWA Study Tour “decentralized bio-waste recycling”, led by Florian Amlinger, CEO of Compost – Consulting & Development, offered the opportunity for the participants to understand the importance of the role that sound bio-waste management plays in improving the societal performance, environmental protection and human health. In this 5-day study tour, participants from Ghana, Italy, Malta, Bulgaria and the US learned about the various perspectives of bio-waste management, from collection to composting, from social campaigns to legal regulations. We travelled to 5 different areas of Austria, visited more than 10 various bio-waste management sites.  

On Day 1, participants learned about the legal structure and the philosophy behind the bio-waste management. Experts from Ministry of Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology in Austria introduced the key elements and structural and legal framework of successful bio-waste management. This was followed by lecture and demonstration from Bioforschuning Austria about compost, an important element in ecological soil and humus management. Participants also got a chance to visit the EVM Biogas Plant where biogas production and energy transformation is showcased 

Day 2 was a fruitful day with compost plan visit at 3er-Hof where 30-year experience of composting on an organic farm was shared by the host. This was followed and complemented by lecture to gain deeper understanding of the biology and the technique of composting. Participants further learned about the logistics, performance and economics of a provincial integrated municipal re-use and recycling cooperation through visiting Upper Austria Waste Recycling Enterprise. 

We started our third day with an exciting presentation from Waste Department of the Upper Austria Government about the regional agricultural composting strategy. The participants then visited Rudi Huemer and learned how a farmer progressed to manage a professional compost facility. At the Waste Management Association Rohrbach, we studied how the association built their relationship with the communities to promote decentralized bio-waste recycling. We ended the day with a visit to the Hofer Natur compost plant to investigate deeper on separate collection and composting.  


The Study Tour participants continued their journey on day 4 by joining the 8th International Practitioner Day on Composting where the state-of-the-art technologies related to composting were demonstrated. We learned about the newest innovations, tends and visions in bio-waste technologies, while leading companies presented their products and services. We rounded up the day with an intimate and informative lecture and talks session led by Marco Ricci, ISWA Working Group on Biological Treatment of Waste, and Riccardo Gambini from European Compost Network.

On the last day of the Study Tour, the group visited Seiringer, a composting plant where we were able to closely observe and study their innovative composting techniques, such as efficient forced aeration with and without bio-filter systems, as well as innovative purification techniques. At the end of the day, the Study Tour participants were rewarded with certificates as recognition for their commitment and engagement in this 5-day learning journey.  

The ISWA Decentralized Bio-waste Recycling Study Tour was a great success. This Study Tour not only showcased the knowledge, techniques and technologies needed for the sound bio-waste management, but also demonstrated the importance of social and legal perspectives that support such bio-waste management. 

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