The Mediterranean basin commits itself to bio-waste management

Nota de prensa

The Mediterranean basin commits itself to bio-waste management


The European project SCOW has promoted the implementation of effective systems of selective collection of organic waste and the construction of new composting plants in six countries of the Mediterranean basin. As a result, various territories already benefit from high quality compost that improves the conditions of its soils, thus closing the cycle of organic matter


In January 2013, it was initiated the European project SCOW (Selective Collection of the Organic Waste in Tourist Areas and Valorization in small-scale Composting Plants) which ended earlier this 2016.  The project was coordinated by the Urban Ecology Agency of Barcelona and had 8 partners from Mediterranean countries: Spain, France, Italy, Malta, Israel and Palestine. The project was registered in the ENPI CBC Med programme, which aims to strengthen cooperation between the European Union and the countries located in the Mediterranean basin.


The objective of the project was that the participating countries implemented in certain areas of its territory a collection of organic waste in order to be recycled afterwards using a low-cost solution, technically simple, but of high quality.  To achieve this goal, the project defined systems of innovative and sustainable management of organic matter and the construction of composting plants of small scale distributed throughout the territory in a decentralized way. These plants had to be close to the areas of biowaste generation and in zones in which afterwards could be used the compost obtained through the recycling thereof. The selected areas were tourist areas with agricultural activity.


The main lines of action were the following:

  • The collection of organic waste of high quality thanks to the separation at source.
  • The implementation of effective and personalized collection systems according to the idiosyncrasy and habits of each territory.
  • The construction of decentralized composting facilities of small scale.
  • The obtaining of quality compost and its subsequent application to crops, orchards and gardens.
  • The enhancing of awareness, training and the transfer of know-how.


Thus, the participating countries have implemented different models of management of bio-waste, including, on the one hand, collection systems in which emphasizes the promotion of the door to door model and, on the other, systems of treatment of this waste, with the creation of 14 small composting installations that will eventually be all at full operation capacity this year.


The working process has been the following:

  1. Study of the territory
  2. Selection of the location / design of the relevant model
  3. Commitment of related agents
  4. Construction of composting plants
  5. Introduction of organic waste collection
  6. Operational model and monitoring 


The 14 composting plants built thanks to SCOW project have the capacity to manage a total of 8,200 tons of organic waste per year which, when they are fully operational throughout this 2016, will produce 2,300 tons of quality compost which may be used in agriculture and gardening.



The problems of farmland in Mediterranean countries


These actions get to close the cycle of organic matter, something really important in the Mediterranean countries since they traditionally present deficit of organic carbon in their soils.  They have problems of erosion and desertification. Fertility is low and land available for cultivation is lost. The use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides is widespread. Landfills suppose a significant environmental impact: biogas, leachate, soil occupation. The organic waste that go to landfill generate methane, which has a significant impact on climate change. In addition, organic matter, when it mingles with other fractions, dirties materials and makes its recycling difficult.


Therefore, a good management of organic waste at source is of paramount importance. In addition, it contributes to the creation of new economic activity around this collection and treatment of bio-waste.



Participant countries and partners


·         Urban Ecology Agency of Ecology (leader partner) (Spain - Catalonia)

·         Development Agency Gal Genovese (Italy)

·         Local Government Association (Malta)

·         House of Water and Environment (Palestine)

·         Upper Galilee Regional Council (Israel)

·         MIGAL – Galilee Research Institute (Israel)

·         SYVADEC (SIRET) – (France – Corsica)

·         Environment Park SpA (Italy)


Other entities also participated as associated, such as the Waste Agency of Catalonia and ACR+.


The project had a budget of 4.970.000 euros. 90 % of this total is funded by the European Union through the ENPI (European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument).



Prominent figures of the project


Treatment capacity of the constructed plants

8.200 tons/year

Municipalities involved in the implementation of the project 50
Citizens involved in selective collection 17.719
Large producers (hoteles, restaurants, schools, etc) involved in selective collection 601
Agricultors implicats en la gestió de les plantes i/o ús del compost generat   61
Training sessions that have been carried out 94
People informed through the activities of communication and campaigns 29.269
Agreements signed to develop the model and ensure its continuity 90
Country  Collection System  Treatment system Expected quantity of biowaste treated (bulking mat. excluded) (t/y) Annual quantity of compost expected (t/y)
Spain (Catalonia) Door to Door 1 aerated static silos plant 750 112
Italy (Liguria) Door to Door / direct delivery 3 electro-mechanical composters + 183 community composters + 150 modules for agroturism centers  375 75
Malta Door to Door 1 electro-mechanical composter 120 30
Palestina (West Bank) Door to Door + containers 2 open turned windrows plants 750 + 1000 and 90 + 700 

1000 + 400

Israel (Upper Galilee) Door to Door + containers 6 electro-mechanical composters own model 1200 600
France (Corsica) Door to Door / Direct delivery 1 electro-mechanical composters+ 600 composting modules for economic activities 245 75



More information:



Main “outputs”:


A.      Database of Good Practices

B.      Guidelines and protocols for model definition

C.      Handbook on small-scale composting facilities management

D.      Handbook on compost marketing h

E.       Educational and communication materials

F.       Protocols for developing campaigns and collection staff training. Protocols for training the facility managers. Protocols for the use of modular composters

G.     Policy recommendations: Manifesto for proper food waste management in Med Area

H.      Med Compost Network

I.        Webgis

J.        SCOW Website:



Meeting point for a better management of organic waste 


One of the most important outputs of the project is the launch of the MedCompost Network, a network at Mediterranean level, which promotes better management of organic waste. The network has among its main objectives the promotion of practical initiatives that will improve the management of biowaste; promote communication and exchange among its members and provide knowledge transfer to the bodies responsible for the management and support.  The idea is to close the cycle of organic matter in a sustainable manner, taking into account the principles of the circular economy.


More information: