Wastewater: Phosporus recovery obliged in Switzerland
The Swiss parliament in Bern decided in December 2015 to oblige resource recovery. Picture: Wikimedia Commons
Since the first of January phosphorus recovery and recycling from sewage sludge and slaughterhouse waste is obligatory in Switzerland. The new regulation is introduced with a transition period of ten years. Switzerland claims to be globally the first country to oblige resource recovery.
Switzerland banned direct use of sewage sludge on land in 2006, so the regulation will lead to technical recovery and recycling in the form of inorganic products. According to the Swiss Government sludge and slaughterhouse waste in Switzerland represent an annual flow of 9100 t of phosphorus whereas technical recycling from the wastewater stream in Europe today totals of around 1000 t of phosphorus in the form of struvite. In an implementation guide details such as required efficiency of the recovery process and plant availability of fertilizer is to be defined in collaboration with Swiss stakeholders.
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