BBIA Managing Director David Newman contributed to the January issue of CIWM Journal, writing about digestate quality and soil protection underlining the importance of collection systems using compostable plastics to reduce plastic contamination going to soil.
The article was a response to a piece in the magazine’s November issue entitled ‘Where is PAS110 Going?’.
Newman wrote: ‘I think it is critical for the anaerobic digestion (AD) industry to open this discussion on digestate quality to ensure the long-term viability of digestate use and therefore the sustainability of the cost structure of the UK AD industry within the context of a declining subsidy regime…
‘2015 has been the International Year of Soils, though you wouldn’t have noticed this in the UK where attention to soil quality fails to make any political agenda. Yet we in the waste industry have a specific duty to return to soil what constitute clean nutrients and replacement organic matter. We know from experiences across Europe, e.g. in Italy, Belgium and Holland where digestate is composted before spreading to land that we can achieve a virtually total elimination of physical contaminants…
‘Furthermore, the UK has yet to fully understand the importance of getting clean organic matter back to soil and how we are continually eroding organic carbon – our soils risk becoming sterile and infertile should this trend continue. Digestate brings little organic carbon value to soil; so mixing the digestate with woody matter and composting them together increases the organic carbon being returned to soil, as well as ensuring quality clean nutrients.
‘I would welcome much further study and discussions on these elements to complement the ongoing activity in regard to PTEs.’
The full article can be viewed here, courtesy of CIWM.
Members of CIWM can ready the monthly magazine online, while non-members can sample a copy on the ciwm-journal.co.uk website.