Waste management

Benefits and risks of using sludge from small WWTPs after processing by composting for the production of selected types of vegetables

The aim of the study, the results of which are presented in this article, was to assess the possibility of simplifying treatment and stabilisation procedures of sewage sludge from small municipal sources of pollution (domestic and small WWTPs up to about 1,000 EP) at the place of their origin and their subsequent use through extensive composting. The results demonstrated the benefit of the application of composts from a material base containing sludge from small WWTPs in increasing the production of the monitored types of vegetables. However, especially with lettuce, there was a higher transmission of selected risk elements. We therefore do not recommend the use of composts with sludge for growing leafy green vegetables. In contrast, this risk did not arise with fruit and vegetables. For practical use, it is still necessary to assess the rate of transfer of other pollutants, such as drug residues and microplastics.

Emerging contaminants in wastewater – results of Joint Danube Survey 4 evaluated via the grey water footprint

The Joint Danube Survey (JDS4), organized in 2019, provided a unique dataset on the occurrence of several hundred newly identified contaminants of emerging concern (CEC) in waters of the Danube river basin, including wastewater from selected wastewater treatment plants. In this study, published JDS4 data were used to assess the significance of individual substances identified in wastewater using the grey water footprint approach. Determining all newly identified contaminants is time-consuming and expensive, so it is reasonable to focus on the „most problematic“ substances. The advantage of the grey water footprint assessment is conversion of the amount of discharged pollutants into the volume of water needed for dilution to an environmentally ‘safe level’, allowing comparison of different substances. Based on JDS4 data, out of several hundreds of substances detected, 33 were identified as potentially risky, according to set criteria. However, this list cannot be taken as definitive, as the level of knowledge about the harmfulness of individual substances quickly develops with regard to the risk currently attributed to them. Similarly, the JDS4 dataset reflects a specific data collection methodology, which may not capture all connections related to the impact of the occurrence of new substances on the environment.

Current research at TGM WRI on municipal biodegradable waste and food waste

Since 2021, research on selected issues related to the collection, sorting, processing, and reuse of selected types of biodegradable waste has been carried out at TGM WRI within the „Centre of Environmental Research: Waste management, circular economy and environmental security“ (CEVOOH), which was supported as part of the call of the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic „Environment for life“, Subprogramme 3 „Long-term environmental and climate perspectives“, for the period 2021–2026. The research follows on from a number of partial research projects and tasks, an overview of which can be found, for example, on the HEIS WRI website [1] under the Projects tab.

Methods of collection and management of biodegradable municipal waste in selected countries of the European Union and current results from moisture loss measurements

The ever-increasing amount of waste, including biological waste, is causing serious problems in modern society, such as the filling of municipal waste landfills, which subsequently produce greenhouse gases. For society to deal with this problem, the legislation of some member states of the European Union (EU), including the Czech Republic (CR), has introduced new obligations to support the prevention of waste generation and its increased recycling and reuse. In 2020, the European Commission released the Circular Economy Action Plan, which provides guidelines for many countries on renewables and waste. However, in some cases the current measures are not enough. A new law on waste was adopted in the Czech Republic, which specifies the obligation to sort biological waste for legal entities and natural persons who allow physical persons to dispose of municipal waste in their establishments.
This article brings the current interim results of research project SS02030008 “Centre of Environmental Research: Waste Management, Circu-lar Economy and Environmental Security (CEVOOH)”. It deals with a brief description of biodegradable municipal waste (BMW) collection in some EU countries and draws general conclusions from the facts found. It also deals with the current results of measuring the moisture loss of biological waste in order to fulfil the obligation of the Czech Republic to report the quantity of this waste in its “fresh” state.

Fundamental revision of the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive provokes conflicting reactions from European Union member states

Council Directive 91/271/EEC of 21st May 1991, the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive (UWWTD), entered into force 32 years ago, which is a respectable age for a legal regulation. Since then, through the consistent implementation of its requirements, good results in water protection have been achieved in practice. Between 1990 and 2014, there was a reduction in the amount of pollutants in treated and discharged urban waste water for organic pollution expressed as BOD5 by 61 %, for total nitrogen by 32 %, and for total phosphorus by 44 %. The extensive support pro-vided to cities and municipalities from EU financial instruments as well as from national sources and the relatively strict application of sanctions have led, according to data published by the European Commission (EC), to the fact that currently 98 % of waste water in the EU is effectively collected and removed of and 92 % properly treated. Until now, the Directive’s requirements have primarily focused on centralized systems for the collection, removal, and treatment of waste water in agglomerations producing loads at the level of 2,000 population equivalent (PE) and more.

Food waste issues in relation to the mandatory reporting of its production for the needs of the Waste Framework Directive

From this year, European Union member states are obliged to introduce preventive measures that will reduce the amount of food waste at all stages of the food chain. This article deals with this current topic, presents possible procedures for obtaining data on food waste production at various stages of the food chain, and shows the results of our own research and analysis about the usability of these data for reporting obligations and demonstrating future reductions.

Grey water footprint of pollution discharged from wastewater treatment plants in the Czech Republic registered in the water balance in the period 2002–2018 – data set

Koncept vodní stopy byl představen v roce 2002 [1] a dnes je jedním z rozšířených nástrojů pro hodnocení udržitelnosti užívání vodních zdrojů [2]. Vodní stopa patří do rodiny environmentálních stop [3], které umožňují podívat se na problémy užívání přírodních zdrojů z jiné perspektivy. Šedá vodní stopa je kvalitativní ukazatel převádějící vypouštěné znečištění na objem vody potřebný k jeho naředění na koncentrace neškodné pro životní prostředí [4].

Study of the effectiveness of the small municipal sourcess sewage sludge extensive stabilization for their use as a fertilizer

The article is devoted to the presentation of partial results of a study aimed at determining the potential use of extensive sludge dewatering technology for small municipal WWTPs (up to 1000 PE) in the conditions of the Czech Republic. The study has shown that the use of technology based on extensive sludge dewatering and their stabilization in sludge dewatering reed beds with suitable wetland vegetation can be an alternative to other technologies. Especially in combination with constructed wetland (CW) based WWTPs, which are characterized by lower sludge production.

Ash management in the circular economy of municipalities

Ash from small heat sources is produced by burning solid fuels such as wood and coal. Based on a survey conducted by the article authors, ash from small heat sources can be considered the most significant waste stream in smaller municipalities in the Czech Republic. This material has considerable potential for reducing waste production, landfilling and consumption of primary raw materials.

Municipal waste management in the light of new regulations

Modern municipal services in solid waste management usually include cleaning and cleaning of public spaces, collection, transport, recycling and disposal of generated waste. Solid waste management services are among the most expensive and complicated municipal work systems for the public. At the same time, it can also be the least awarded communal service. Water, electricity, firefighting and police protection meet the daily needs of residents and businesses fundamentally and immediately. Therefore these services are given a much higher priority by the community and its leadership. Waste management services are usually one of the most minor „fragrant“ public services, but their flawless functionality and efficiency have far-reaching implications.


This article is available in Czech only. For translation or more information on this topic, please contact author.   Úvod Při nakládání s odpady a údržbě veřejných ploch zainteresované strany čelí problému výskytu litteringu. Littering je popisován jako ekologický, sociální a estetický problém, ale málokdy je zmiňován i jeho ekonomický dopad. Uvědomění si rozsahu jeho vlivu je prvním důležitým… Read more »

Possibilities of combined ways of treatment for selected waste types using an experimental equipment for physical waste treatment with the intention of their further use

This article presents possibilities of a unique device for industrial waste treatment using a patented process, and outlines possible future directions. This device, using different physical processes, individually or in synergy, e.g. combined effects of ultrasonic waves, focused microwave field, arc discharges, electrostatic field and the exposure to ultra-violet radiation, is intended to degrade dangerous substances in waste, reducing its hazardous properties for the environment and to prepare the waste for future applications (material or energy), i.e. separately or in combination with other technology processes, such as biotechnology.

Determination of selected illicit drugs in wastewater using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry

The wastewater-based epidemiology approach to the analysis of illicit drugs was conceptualized in 2001 and for the first time was applied in 2005 for cocaine estimation in Italy. Further, other illicit drugs as heroine, cannabis and amphetamine have been estimated.

Monitoring odpadové obslužnosti pro tříděné složky komunálního odpadu na území Hlavního města Prahy

Management každé obce, kraje, potažmo státu potřebuje ke svému rozhodování a plánování základní vstupní data, která dokladují aktuální skutečnost. Nejjednodušší způsob, kterým lze získat data o produkci odpadu a nakládání s ním, je monitoring v předem nastavených pravidelných intervalech.

Quality of sludges and wastes from household and small wastewater treatment plants and their utilization in agriculture management

The aim of this article is to introduce partial sections of the research projects TA02020128 and TA02021032 (Technology Agency of the Czech Republic). These parts of the projects pay attention to the issue of quality of sludge and other wastes produced in wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) using activated sludge process, anaerobic processes (including septics) and extensive (natural) wastewater treatment plants (with horizontal subsurface flow reed-beds), which also include mechanical pre-treatment.