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Larvae of the black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) are fed on organic waste to produce protein-rich animal feed. (Photo: Stefan Diener)

Recovering value from biowaste

March 21, 2017,

Inadequate solid waste management poses significant health and environmental problems in low- and middle-income countries. However, numerous treatment and recycling options are now available which can not only improve sanitary conditions but also provide commercial opportunities for local enterprises. For example, anaerobic digestion of waste produces biogas – a renewable energy source – and insect larvae can be used to convert organic waste into protein-rich animal feed. In a review article, Eawag scientists discuss the various treatment technologies available for urban solid biowaste, focusing on their applicability in low- and middle-income settings. They conclude that, while scientific articles have been published on each technology, field research and case studies at scale are underrepresented in the literature. Such studies could help to promote knowledge transfer and exchanges between academia, policy and practice.

A wide variety of technologies are available for converting biowaste into valuable products.

Created by Andres Jordi