Photo of hills and lochs in the highlands of Scotland

Biostabilisation Report 2022

20 Apr 23

Waste treatment options explored in new Biostabilisation Report from Zero Waste Scotland.

The report, Alternative Residual Waste Treatment: Biostabilisation, carried out by consultancy Ricardo on behalf of Zero Waste Scotland, is a study of alternative ‘residual’ waste treatment practices across Europe. ‘Residual’ waste is what currently goes to landfill and has not been reused or recycled.

A ban on the landfill of biodegradable municipal waste (BMW) will come into force in Scotland on 31 December 2025. On that basis, local authorities in Scotland will need to review options for processing residual municipal solid waste (MSW) - residual waste is the waste that has not been placed in containers provided to allow collection of recyclable materials - to ensure future compliance with the ban.

The project documented in the Biostabilisation report was commissioned to review the practice of biostabilising residual waste, principally with consideration to its subsequent disposal in landfill, rather than as part of a treatment process that produces refuse derived fuel (RDF) or solid recovered fuel (SRF) for energy recovery.

The high-level project scope was to:

  • Set out what biostabilisation of residual waste involves.
  • Review how techniques have been implemented in Britain (high level summary) and, via case studies, in selected EU countries.
  • Undertake a carbon lifecycle assessment (LCA) for the biostabilisation of residual waste.
  • Consider the balance and interaction of technical, economic, policy and environment.