Worm turns for composting

Composting of household waste could play an important role in the UK's waste management strategy if landfill prices rise as projected and consumers buy waste-based composts identified by EC eco-labels. Several dozen composting schemes have been launched by local authorities in the past two years and more are in the pipeline. But uncertainty about future European standards for composts looks set to be an unsettling factor in the marketplace for several years to come.

Composting has barely figured as a waste management option in the UK in recent decades. Some 3-4 million tonnes of putrescible household waste and 3 million tonnes of paper waste unsuitable for material recycling, together with another 2 million tonnes of garden waste collected at civic amenity sites, are consigned to landfills every year. There their contribution to Britain's environmental quality is a hefty load of methane to add to the gree

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