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Effects of the Different Implementation of Legislation Relating to Sewage Sludge Disposal in the EU
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Geosciences and Environmental Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8758-2079
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Geosciences and Environmental Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9715-975X
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Geosciences and Environmental Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7158-4662
Technology and Social Change, Linköping University, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9140-2296
2020 (English)In: Detritus, ISSN 2611-4135, Vol. 10, p. 92-99Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The European Directive 86/278/EEC implemented in 1986 was a means adopted by the European Union to improve use of the valuables in sewage sludge by applying treated sludge on agricultural soils. To prevent an accumulation of pollutants, the Directive provided suggestions limiting concentrations of toxic elements in sewage sludge and agricultural soil. The Directive was implemented diversely throughout EU member states, with current national legislations only partly reflecting the initial intentions of the EU Directive from 30 years ago. This study demonstrates how the European Directive was implemented in three countries currently at different stages of replacing the agricultural application of sewage sludge with incineration (Netherlands, Germany and Sweden). Additionally, recent changes in the legislation with regards to the re-use and final disposal of sewage sludge in the three chosen member states are analysed. The aim was to investigate how each member state has solved the conflict between improvement of nutrient recovery from sludge and limitation of pollutants in agricultural soil. Based on this review, limit values are not necessarily reflected in application rates of sewage sludge in agriculture. Following changes in current legislation, phosphorus recovery will become a priority task. The recovery of other valuables from sewage sludge is currently not regulated in the legislation of the three member states investigated.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Padova: CISA Publisher , 2020. Vol. 10, p. 92-99
Keywords [en]
Sewage sludge, Legislation, Phosphorus recovery, Nutrient recovery, Land application
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering
Research subject
Waste Science and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-78837DOI: 10.31025/2611-4135/2020.13944ISI: 000546632500010Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85087827299OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-78837DiVA, id: diva2:1429374
Funder
Swedish Energy AgencySwedish Research Council Formas, dnr. 2018-00194
Note

Validerad;2020;Nivå 2;2020-08-17 (marisr)

Available from: 2020-05-11 Created: 2020-05-11 Last updated: 2023-04-20Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Can new treatment combinations make sewage sludge management more sustainable?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Can new treatment combinations make sewage sludge management more sustainable?
2021 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Treated sewage sludge is often reused as a fertilizer but several European countries are phasing out this option due to concerns about harmful substances in the sludge. Valuables in the sludge should still be recycled so the removal of the pollutants is necessary. The technology in sewage sludge treatment remained nearly unchanged in the past century. Adapting traditional treatments and combining them with upcoming ones can be a way to separate substances in sewage sludge. This work discusses examples of how treatment methods can be combined and which potential these treatment combinations may have. New tools for system analyses need to be developed to allow the integration and adaption of treatments into existing infrastructure.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Luleå University of Technology, 2021
Series
Doctoral thesis / Luleå University of Technology 1 jan 1997 → …, ISSN 1402-1544
National Category
Environmental Engineering
Research subject
Waste Science and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-84162 (URN)978-91-7790-852-4 (ISBN)978-91-7790-853-1 (ISBN)
Presentation
2021-09-15, F1031, Luleå, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Energy AgencySwedish Research Council Formas, 2018-00194Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth, 20200905
Available from: 2021-05-11 Created: 2021-05-07 Last updated: 2021-08-25Bibliographically approved
2. Sustainable Sewage Sludge Management: Addressing Multidisciplinary Challenges
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sustainable Sewage Sludge Management: Addressing Multidisciplinary Challenges
2023 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Hållbar Hantering av Avloppsslam med Fokus på Tvärvetenskapliga Utmaningar och Lösningar
Abstract [en]

This PhD thesis focuses on multidisciplinary challenges in sewage sludge management and how they can be addressed to increase sustainability. 

Sewage sludge is the residual from wastewater treatment. It contains both resources and contaminants making its management challenging. In the past sewage sludge was often used as a fertilizer in agriculture, a practice that is still used in several countries. Today, this practice gets questioned in Europe and especially in Sweden due to the presence of contaminants in the sludge. At the same time, the resources in the sludge get into a stronger focus as society moves towards a circular economy and food production should get more resilient in a world with geopolitical challenges. In sustainable sewage sludge management, the two goals of immobilising/destroying the contaminants and utilizing the resources in the sludge are combined. 

This thesis identifies challenges in various disciplines and provides potential solutions to make sewage sludge management more sustainable. The discussed challenges cover the following areas: legislation (EU and Sweden), perception of sewage sludge (Sweden), research on sewage sludge management (international), and combinations of treatment methods. Results show that outdated legislation in Sweden creates insecurities, while the negative perception of sewage sludge in Swedish society further aggravates these insecurities. Although technical solutions are available or under development, e.g., treatment combinations that can separate resources and contaminants, actors in Sweden remain hesitant due to the aforementioned insecurities. This thesis emphasizes that interdisciplinary approaches, and dialogues between different actor groups and society are essential. The multitude of challenges requires solutions that combine technical and non-technical approaches. Therefore, this thesis provides recommendations for more sustainable sewage sludge management practices, including updating legislation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Luleå University of Technology, 2023
Series
Doctoral thesis / Luleå University of Technology 1 jan 1997 → …, ISSN 1402-1544
National Category
Energy Systems Environmental Management
Research subject
Waste Science and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-96680 (URN)978-91-8048-323-0 (ISBN)978-91-8048-324-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2023-06-16, C305, Luleå tekniska universitet, Luleå, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Energy AgencySwedish Research Council Formas, 2018-00194Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth, 20200905
Available from: 2023-04-20 Created: 2023-04-20 Last updated: 2023-11-30Bibliographically approved

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