Sustainable development requires an environmentally sound, cost effective and socially acceptable management of municipal and industrial waste. Landfilling of untreated municipal solid waste (MSW) is known to lead to emissions of leachate and landfill gas, above all methane, which contributes to the greenhouse effect. Due to this the EU directive “Council Directive on the landfill of waste (European Union, The Council 1999) mandates a stepwise reduction of biodegradable wastes to be landfilled by 2010 (Article 5) to reduce the production of methane gas in order to diminish global warming. To avoid any harmful effect on the environment, residual waste has also to be pre-treated prior to landfilling.
This document is the final report of the project entitled: “biodegradationstest för rejekt från hushållsavfall” financed by the NORDTEST. The aim of this work was to identify Nordic needs for biodegradability testing of MSW-waste and to assess the suitability of some available methods for biodegradability testing of MSW-waste. The project culminated in the form of a Nordic NORDTEST-workshop, which was held on the 23rd of October at VTT in Espoo, Finland. The workshop focused on the Nordic needs for biodegradability determination and different methods possible suitable for the evaluation and testing of MSW-waste. The workshop also summarised the latest data on Nordic management of MSW and other organic wastes.