Research: Netherlands


The Netherlands do not currently dispose of food waste through the sewer, however recognising that domestic Food Waste Disposers (FWD) may become more common in the Netherlands in the future, STOWA, Stichting RIONED and Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (RVO) collectively commissioned a desk study to look into alternative routes for the management of organic food waste originating from households.

Life cycle analysis was undertaken with the objective of assessing the environmental impacts only of four main options:
– Residual waste route – mixed waste collected at source, transported to a central plant and incinerated along with other municipal waste;
- Organic waste route – waste collected at source alongside other organic materials, transported and co-composted at a central plant;
- Water chain – kitchen waste discharged via an FWD into the sewerage system, and treated at a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP);
- New water chain – WC waste is separated and conveyed together via a vacuum sewerage system with FWD inputs to a pump station and pumped on to a central WWTP for co-treatment.

The overall conclusion was that the best option, in terms of environmental impacts, depends on local circumstances and needs to be evaluated within a specific context. With this in mind field trials are proposed, ranging from student accommodation to retrofit apartments and new communities using FWDs and vacuum sanitary systems. These additional trials are likely to assess other important aspects such as socio-economic analysis.

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