Organic waste flows, varying from compost to feather meal, can be recycled and used in the arable and greenhouse horticulture sectors to improve soil quality. But which criteria must this material meet? What are the requirements in terms of the composition of organic material? And how can you improve the quality of residual waste? Wageningen UR is looking for companies with organic waste flows from various industries to join them in a PPP (Public Private Partnership) testing the effects of a range of organic materials on raising the soil’s resistance to various fungal and nematode infections. The project will also try to identify indicators for measuring the quality of the organic material and the soil.
Different organic waste flows
Joeke Postma, soil expert at Wageningen UR, is one of initiators of the proposal. Postma: “Previous research and projects carried out with companies have shown that organic materials, such as compost and feather meal, have a positive effect on soil quality. In the new project, we want companies to help us find out whether other organic waste flows are also suitable for improving soil quality. This could include waste from the food industry or products such as spent mushroom compost, (fermented) manure, crop residue, algae/seaweed, corn stover, digestate and wood. We are also looking for partners who develop soil improvers and are willing to add new organic materials to their improvers to enhance the quality.”
Gera van Os, soil expert at Wageningen UR and lecturer in Sustainable Soil Management at CAH Vilentum University of Applied Sciences: “Manure processing and biorefinery of organic waste flows usually means extracting valuable substances from the material, such as nutrients, fibre, proteins or energy. Up until now, not enough attention has been paid to the quality and value of the residual waste. This is the focus of this research project.”
Get in touch before 19 August
Postma and Van Os are asking companies with organic waste flows, or producers of soil improvers, or specific organic materials that are willing to put up funding, to get in touch before 19 August. Postma and Van Os submitted a pre-proposal in early 2015. The pre-proposal was approved and is now ready to be turned into a full project proposal along with the partners. Wageningen UR is supporting the full proposal for a PPP in the Top Sector Agri & Food. If you are interested, please contact Postma or Van Os before 19 August.