The Waste Management Act 2002 defines waste as a movable object that is to be disposed of or whose collection or storage is necessary in the public interest. Accordingly, sewage sludge is to be considered waste in its output (see AWG 2002 Art. 2 Definition). But how do we manage to break out of this regime?
Through our RSR process, the sewage sludge loses its sludge-typical properties and a valuable and nutrient-rich raffinate is produced that can be reused, for example, as quality compost in our gardens. Our daily generated municipal waste can thus be used for a specific and useful purpose, namely as a nutrient for our soils in the garden and on the fields - thus the processed raffinate no longer counts as waste but as a valuable material (see Directive 2008/98/EC Art. 4 Waste hierarchy & Art. 6 End of waste status).
The consideration is also supported by Art. 2 pt. 5 anchored in the AWG 2002:
"For the purposes of the Federal Act (7.), "recycling" means any recovery operation by which waste materials are reprocessed into products, things or substances either for the original purpose or for other purposes. It includes the reprocessing of organic materials..."
In Germany, an average of 120 litres of drinking water are consumed per inhabitant and day - in Austria we assume a similar per capita consumption. Most of this water ends up as wastewater in sewage treatment plants, plus rainwater and water used in industry.
Sewage sludge is a mixture of many substances, the components of which can vary greatly. The sludge contains heavy metals (mercury, chromium, nickel, etc.), organic compounds (of particular interest here is the bound phosphorus), pharmaceutical residues and microplastics. In the raw sludge stage, sewage sludge is still enriched with pollutants and may not be applied to agricultural land in this form.
With our developed RSR process, we start with the raw sludge and process it through several stages of washing, dissolving and neutralisation processes in such a way that pollutants are removed and valuable substances such as phosphorus, nitrogen, potassium, magnesium and many more are recovered. The recovered resources become an NPK fertiliser (PecuPhos) and can now be used in agriculture as fertiliser. The remaining cleaned sludge is turned into a quality compost (PecuGrow) that can also be used in gardens and fields.
From a waste, sewage sludge, products are obtained that can be returned to our depleted soils! For us and for a green future!