Decentralised Organic Resource Treatments – Classification and comparison through Extended Material Flow Analysis

The article presents a classification and comparison of Decentralised Organic Resource Treatments (DORTs), a term that refers to relatively small-scale biowaste treatments that have emerged as a promising alternative to centralised, industrial facilities. Despite growing interest from policy makers and waste professionals, accessible and coherent information on different decentralised treatments is currently not available. To overcome this gap in the literature, we propose an Extended Material Flow Analysis (EMFA) based on a review of the literature and expert interviews. In addition to flows of inputs and outputs, the EMFA also accounts on the economic, normative, and technical aspects of each treatment. The final EMFA database includes seven broad types of DORTs (composting, anaerobic digestion, dehydration, lactic acid fermentation, mulching, vermicomposting and animal valorisation) that are further divided into 18 representative models. The most relevant and comparable variables are summarised in form of synthetic flow diagrams.