Institutional framework for bio-waste management

The EU Biowaste Strategy aims to gradually reduce the quantities of landfilled biowaste in all Member States in relation to the quantities that were buried in 1995.

  • Data from the Greek Ministry of Environment and Energy report that 44.8% of the total annual municipal solid waste produced in Greece (5.8 million tons) is bio-waste. The Municipalities and Regions of the country need to prepare and apply the separate collection process to at least 260000 tonnes of biowaste by 2020, while the 2015 National Waste Management Plan sets the exact quantitative target of separate collection for 2020 to 40% of their total weight, increasing bio-waste, which will follow the process and will not be buried, approximately to 1000000 tonnes.
  • At country level, the recovery of organic materials through separate collection (composting or/and energy recovery) is very low, corresponding to only 3% (174000 tonnes) of total municipal solid waste produced in 2011, which underlines the need for activation of governmental agencies and private companies to increase these levels. European Directive 12/2006 defines that every waste producer must deliver its waste to a private or public collector or to another enterprise that carries out recovery operations or to take care by its own means for their exploitation or disposal.
  • According to the Official Gazette of the Hellenic Republic (209/21-9-2011) all technical works are divided into two categories according to their impact on the environment. Category A projects have a significant impact on the environment and require an Environmental Impact Study to impose special protection requirements. Category B projects do not cause such significant environmental impacts and do not require the compilation of an Environmental Impact Study, but they are subjected to Standard Environmental Commitments which essentially constitute standardized guidelines and instructions (Official Gazette of the Hellenic Republic: 3072/3-12-2013). Especially for individual facilities for the production of soil improvers and/or organic fertilizers from solid and liquid non-hazardous waste, category B refers to a quantity of incoming waste of 0.5-50 t/day (Ministerial Decision: 1958/13-1-2012).
  • It is important to emphasize that waste arising from agricultural, horticultural or forestry activities (plant tissues, etc.) are classified as non-hazardous waste. European Directive 98/2008 exempts any company who dispose its own non-hazardous waste at their place of production or performs recovery operations from the obligation to be licensed for waste treatment and thus opens the way for the use of special mobile machinery and for on-site composting of organic waste.
  • According to the above, Mr. Filis company transacts category B projects which include the composting of non-hazardous bio-waste from plant biomass easily without complex licensing procedures, effectively and directly working to deal with the problem of waste management where this arises.