Recycling of nutrients and sewage sludge in the Danube Region

TREC delegational travels to Debrecen and Plovdiv assess key topics of the Green Economy

Within the scope of the TREC project, a delegation of Leipzig’s environmental cluster for energy and environmental engineering has been visiting network members in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, and in Debrecen, Hungary. During the travel, participants assessed questions of the recycling of nutrients and sewage sludge which is an important matter for research and development for many countries also in South Eastern Europe.

In Bulgaria, the network managers organised an impressive programme in the field of waste water and sewage sludge treatment with focus on the vacation areas at the Black Sea around Burgas. Fluctuating amounts of waste water issue a specific challenge to the regional disposers. Many wastewater treatment plants are currently modernised so that highly modern as well as a few elderly facilities could have been visited.

While the recycling of sewage sludge plays a major role in the region, there are no entirely satisfactory solutions at the moment. Interesting approaches exist in the preparation of compost whereas the spreading in agriculture is unpopular. Different from the experiences in Bulgaria, network members in Debrecen presented a modern and well managed waste water treatment in which high quality slurry is commonly applied as fertilizer in the agriculture.

Following the meeting in Plovdiv, cooperation among key players from Bulgaria and Leipzig is currently intensified during the preparation of an EU-funded project. Romann Glowacki from the German Biomass Research Centre (DBFZ) and network manager within the TREC project summarizes: “If we succeed in awarding the contract, we will provide a firm basis for the development of a further long-term collaboration.”

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