Compost based products: history, recent activities, chances

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Courtesy of ORBIT e.V.

The amount of compost originating from source separated organic household waste collection in Germany is still increasing. At the end of the year 1997, app. 3.0 to 3.5 millions Mg fresh matter of non-mature and mature compost were produced in 515 composting plants with an input of respectively more than 1.000 Mg organic waste per year in Germany. According to Mellen (1998) an estimated 27% of the population were connected to the separate collection of organic wastes. A compost amount of 4 to 4.5 millions Mg (Gerwin et al. 1998) is forecasted for the year 2000. Considering this development, it seems necessary to use all sales potentials available for compost marketing.

Compost is a product by itself and consequently bio- and yard waste compost is currently mainly used for soil improvement and fertilisation purposes. Table 1 shows the sale of compost in 1996. Data are taken from composting plants which are subject to the RAL - quality control of the German Federal Association for Compost Quality e.V. (BGK) (173 plants = 68.7 %; 79 plants = 31.3 % without information) (BGK, 1998).

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