The Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association (ADBA) has warned a report into end-of-waste quality requirements could lead to additional burdens on UK industry.
The report, published by the Joint Research Centre’s Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (JRC), sets out the possibilities for recovering biodegradable waste though composting and/or digestion.
It stated: “End-of-waste product quality requirements should provide an additional safeguard against undesired pollutants that cannot be avoided or removed solely through input material selection and process conditions and which could cause adverse environmental or human health impacts.”
The European Commission is preparing proposals for end-of-waste criteria for specific waste streams following the JRC’s guidelines.
But Charlotte Morton, ADBA chief executive, said: “The final JRC report recognises some concerns around earlier drafts, for example by providing a more flexible approach on stability testing, but we remain concerned about the scope for increasing cost and complexity, for example from additional sampling requirements.
“Digestate markets are vitally important to the future of the anaerobic digestion industry, and end-of-waste standards are important for the confidence of markets and consumers.
In December ADBA said British Standards Institution proposals to re-draft its PAS 110 standard on digestate would help shore up market confidence.
PAS 110 was developed by WRAP in conjunction with BSI. It covers all AD systems that accept source-segregated biowastes and sets controls on input materials and minimum quality standards of whole digestate, separated fibre and separated liquor.
Morton added: “The UK is already working to the PAS110 standard, which is currently being revised. If the Commission proposes a Europe-wide standard on the basis of the JRC report, it should take account of the UK by recognising our existing standards and avoid disrupting markets.”