Guest Blog | In April It's All About the Food Waste

Ms Aditi Ramola, Technical Director at ISWA, shares her impressions of the biowaste events, which happened in April in Oslo, Norway - ISWA Beacon Conference on Food Waste Management organized by the ISWA Working Group on Biological Treatment of Waste (WG BTW) on the margins of the Nordic Biogas Conference in Oslo, as well as the regular meeting of the same Working Group to plan future projects in the area of biowaste management.

29 Apr 2019 -

The conference was facilitated by Dr. Jane Gilbert, Vice-Chair of the ISWA Working Group on Biological Treatment of Waste (WG BTW), and was attended by over 50 people. The conference focussed on food waste, although quality control and markets for compost/digestate were also discussed.


The event opened with a presentation by WG BTW Chair, Mr. Marco Ricci, who spoke about the state of organic waste production, composting and biogas worldwide. We had speakers from across the globe including Matt Cotton, who gave the keynote presentation, from the USA and Gabriella Otero from Brazil. Among other topics the EU waste legislation on biowaste recycling as well as quality assurance schemes from different cities were talked about extensively.


Following the presentations, the participants were taken on a trip to the Oslo OptiBag sorting plant. Oslo collects food waste in green polyethylene bags, packaging in blue bags and residual waste in supermarket carrier bags. The green and blue bags are available to residents free in supermarkets. All three bags are co-collected and delivered to the plant where they are optically sorted into the three separate fractions, where the food waste is then sent to an AD plant.


9 April – Composting Day

The ISWA BTW WG also organised a Composting Day on the 9th of April in co-operation with Avfal Norge (the Norwegian waste management association). There was a lot of interest in the session, which included talks on the science of composting, using compost in Oslo’s royal parks and compost research. Participants also heard about Norway’s plans to phase out the use of peat in horticultural growing media. Although it was an adjunct to the Nordic Biogas Conference, we had a packed room. Following the morning’s talks, conference attendees then visited the Kompost Oslo site. The company composts green waste in windrows, creating about six different product types.

10 April – Working Group Meeting

The busy conference days were followed by an interesting and well attended BTW Working Group meeting which had participants including Matt Cotton from the USA and Sandra Mazo-Nix from the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC). The WG is organising a study tour in Milan on the 30 Sept – 4 Oct as well as a possible session at the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) event in September.


In overall, the events were a great success and attracted international audience interested to learn from Oslo's, as well as other European cities', examples of managing food waste efficiently.





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