SUSTAINABLE USE OF BIOWASTE: Austria’s approach to a greener future

According to the Austrian Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology, 372,000 tonnes* of biowaste end up in residual waste throughout Austria, every year. An alarming figure that urges us to rethink our approach!

Biowaste for biowaste bins

It is time to adopt a more conscious approach to biowaste in order to curb this wasteful practice. The first step would be to reduce biowaste wherever possible and to dispose of the unavoidable residues properly in designated biowaste bins. This applies not only to households but also to public spaces.

Biogas: A step in the right direction

For biowaste that cannot be avoided, there is also a perfect solution: biogas plants. These plants play a key role on the road to sustainable waste management. The advantage of this technology is not only the production of biogas production, but also the reduction of CO2 emissions. The controlled anaerobic digestion of organic waste in a protected environment, significantly reduces the uncontrolled release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Moreover, increased reliance on biogas will progressively liberate us from foreign-sourced natural gas, thereby promoting a more sustainable national energy supply.

Untapped potentials

Despite the aforementioned factors, only 15% of the organic waste produced annually was processed in biogas plants in 2021, according to the latest assessment of Austria’s waste management by the Federal Ministry for Climate Action. This indicates untapped potential that needs to be exploited.

Combining environmental and climate protection

The disposal of organic waste isn’t just a moral debacle, it also has devastating environmental consequences. Landfilling organic waste produces methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. Composting also emits a lot of CO2 due to the huge amount of energy required. The implementation of biogas plants interrupts this negative cycle. The waste is decomposed in a controlled manner, preventing the release of methane.

From Styria to the whole country

Our biogas plant in Stocking near Wildon, can become an example of progress towards a more sustainable future for Austria. However, it’s up to all of us to drive this transition forward. We are ready to lead the way in Styria, but other regions may soon follow suit and initiate more biogas projects. By expanding this green energy source, we can not only reduce the waste of valuable resources, but also make a significant contribution to climate protection.

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* Number refers to biowaste from households and public institutions, according to the Bestandsaufnahme zur Abfallwirtschaft Austria for the year 2021.