Project meeting of STEP at the site of the company ATS - Agro Trading & Solutions in Hardegsen (Photo: DBFZ)
Project ID 03KB105

Bio-OPTI - Efficient collection, recycling and utilization of kitchen waste in Germany

Waste from the kitchen (Photo: Witzenhausen-Institute)


  • 01.10.2014 – 31.10.2016


Witzenhausen-Institut für Abfall, Umwelt und Energie GmbH
Werner-Eisenberg-Weg 1
37213 Witzenhausen

Thomas Raussen – project manager
Telephone: +49 (0)5542 9380-0

Dr. Michael Kern – direct contact person
Telephone: +49 (0)5542 9380-0

Dr. Felix Richter – further contact person
Telephone: +49 (0)5542 9380-25


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Results available only in German.


Although the German Waste Management Act (enacted in 2012) stipulates clearly that biowaste from private households should be collected and treated separately from residual waste, considerable optimisation potentials still exist. This refers in particular to about 2 - 3 Mio. t/a of kitchen and food waste as well as packed (spoiled) food stuffs which are currently disposed via residual waste systems. Hence the energetic (biogas) as well as material (compost, fermenting products) recycling opportunities are underutilised.


Main aims of the project are to determine – based on a detailed description of the current situation on the collection of kitchen and food waste from private households – optimisation approaches and to identify remaining deficits. Further, the significant repercussions of an enhanced collection of kitchen and food waste on the whole chain of players (collection, pre-treatment, fermentation, use of fermentation products) will be explored.

Main aims are:

  • Documentation of best-practice examples 
  • Development of concepts to enhance the acceptance for the collection of kitchen and food waste via the bio-bin system
  • Proposals for sound waste management measures to enhance the separate collection of kitchen and food waste
  • Description of required adaptation in the fermentation technology


  • WP 1: Coordination and public relation: organisation of two conferences for relevant players, provide speeches on the topic, publications
  • WP 2: Estimate the potential for the separate collection of kitchen and food waste from private households in Germany based on waste analyses and other data sources
  • WP 3: Optimization of the collection of kitchen and food waste in private households: establishing the current situation, representative survey, analyses of the household collection systems, including an analysis of obstacles
  • WP 4: Optimization of the collection of kitchen and food waste at communal level: documentation and evaluation of current collection systems, identifying enhanced systems
  • WP 5: Analysis of the effects of whole treatment technology, including: pre-treatment, fermentation, fermentation products and compost
  • WP 6: Effects on resources and climate


  • State of the art
  • Potential analysis
  • Improved collection of kitchen and food waste
  • Adaptation of treatment technology:


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