EPRD for a Circular Economy

In September, a new scientific publication “Fertilizers derived from waste and by-products as a source of nutrients for plants and a factor for improving soil fertility – Agricultural use of waste as a link of the circular economy value chain” will appear on the publishing market. The was compiled by the employees of the Warsaw University of Life Sciences, while “Pro Civis” Foundation for Education and Social Dialogue was responsible for the publishing side.

As EPRD Sp. z o.o. undertakes initiatives for environmental protection, supporting the competitiveness of enterprises and economies in accordance with the principle of sustainable development, the company has also become involved in organizing the distribution and promotion of the book.

The publication presents the concept of the circular economy, indicating that the current model of the world economy, known as the linear model, is becoming a growing civilization threat. It emphasises that the world economy of the 21st century is increasingly focusing on production based on the sustainable use of raw materials, in which an increasingly important role is played by technologies that enable broadly understood waste and by-products to be re-included in the production cycle. Among many ways of processing waste into useful products, using them as fertilisers is especially important. The present study has shown that many waste and by-products generated in the agri-food processing, animal farms, municipal economy, as well as in many industries based on mineral resources, have significant fertilising potential. It comprises a wide range of numerical data on the content and amount of fertilising components, both macro- and microelements, in the waste produced by many economic sectors. Moreover, the study elaborates on directions for processing or treating various wastes into fertilisers, with particular emphasis on new innovative technologies. Among the directions of processing organic waste into fertilisers, the following technologies are discussed: composting, production of biocarbon, methane fermentation, struvite, animal waste processing into fertilising granules. Among the directions of processing industrial (inorganic) waste into fertilisers, the following technologies are highlighted: the production of fertilisers for deacidification of soils, the production of fertilisers from lignite ashes and waste limes as well as the production of soil improvers from the used mineral wool. An important part of the handbook consists of discussing the principles of using fertilisers produced from agricultural waste, with particular emphasis on their specific conditions. Special attention is equally drawn to legal aspects related to the use of waste and the waste-derived fertilising products in agriculture. Current legal provisions, both European and national, regulating the use of waste and by-products as fertilisers are also presented.

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