After reviewing the importance of biowaste recycling lets put some data and precise benefits of the it’s recycling process, as we saw for the papel plastic, metal and glass recycling:

The main benefits of recycling organic matter are:

  1. Energy saving: Recycling biowaste in facilities (anaerobic digestion) produces biogas, similar to that which is emitted in landfills, and enables the generation of energy
  2. Saving resources: Organic matter is converted into compost in the treatment facilities (composting process and anaerobic digestion). Compost is used as an organic fertilizer for agriculture and gardening and avoids the use of other fertilizers. Compost improves soil quality (fertility, porosity, water retention, and nutrient retention).
  3. The fact that the other fractions – paper, glass, plastics, and metals – do not contain organic matter (which is easily degraded) it helps to improve the non-organic recycling, both in quantity and quality or efficiency
  4. It improves the quality of air and water by reducing pollution: Treating organic waste in recycling facilities avoids odor problems, as well as gas emissions and leachates in landfills and incinerators. Also, organic matter is one of the precursors of the generation of the aforementioned dioxins and furans in incinerators[1]
  5. Improvement of soil quality: The compost helps to improve the structure and fertility of degraded soils and deficiencies in organic matter[2] which are very common throughout the Spanish territory
  6. The emission of greenhouse gases decreases: As we have said, landfill emissions contribute to the global warming of our planet. One of the great benefits of treating organic matter in recycling facilities is that it reduces the emission of gases such as methane CH4 or CO2 dioxide, responsible for global warming
  7. Less waste is sent to landfill or incineration

The recycling of biowaste reduces the impact on the environment

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Waste glass, paper, cardboard, plastic, and metals are recycled in order to take advantage of the materials and to minimize the environmental impact – less energy or water consumption, less air pollution or reduction of greenhouse gases. Unlike these materials, organic matter is mainly recycled due to its high potential to have an impact on the environment, despite it being a resource that is used as compost.

Want to know more?

 The book Stop garbage. The truth about recycling, Alex Pascual, February 2019

► Biowaste composting facility (CAST)

[1]. “Biowaste management in the municipality,” Ministerio de Agricultura, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente, Spanish Government.

 
[2]. Ministerio de Agricultura, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente, Spanish Government.

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