A person disposing kitchen waste improperly, Source: Depositphotos

Hradec Králové to expand the sorting of gastro-waste

Hradec Králové to expand the sorting of gastro-waste

A six-months project proved that households and companies are interested in the service

After a successful trial project of six months, the Czech city of Hradec Králové will be expanding the service of selective gastro-waste collection, as its website informs. The service has proven important to both households and businesses, hence in the future, the city will offer more locations where kitchen waste can be stored selectively and safely.

The trial, however, unveiled some important challenges before the efficient waste sorting and collection in the city.

Why sort gastro waste separately?

Gastro waste or kitchen waste is a type of bio-waste from households, restaurants, caterers and retail premises or food processing plants. This includes leftover food, meat, small bones, dairy products or even expired food, without packaging. It is therefore different from garden biowaste which derives from green maintenance, such as the cuttings of grass, leaves and branches.

It is the former that the Czech city Hradec Králové decided to sort for six months between October and March. A pilot project on two streets gave households and companies the chance to collect 1.7 tonnes of gastro-waste, which city authorities consider a good level. For this reason, they will support the widespread collection of biodegradable waste in the future.

It was also discovered, however, that people do not differentiate well between the sorting of plant biowaste and gastro waste. In the future, it will therefore be possible to sort them in selected places together in brown containers with safe closing mechanisms.

205 new containers for biodegradable waste could be distributed around the city already this winter if the city council approves it at their next meeting in September. The containers will be equipped with a seal under the lid and a lever mechanism, so citizens do not have to worry about odours or pests.

A European directive obliges Member States to reduce the amount of biodegradable municipal waste that they landfill by 2025. This is because the biodegradable waste left to decompose in landfills produces methane which accounts for some 3% of the total greenhouse emissions of the European Union (as of 1995).

The Landfill Directive hence prescribes proper bio-waste management (without prescribing specific treatment options) which means that lower levels of this type of waste are left for incineration or landfill. 



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