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Special Issue "Organic Waste Management"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 28 February 2018

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Dimitrios Komilis

Department of Environmental Engineering, Democritus University of Thrace, Kimmeria Campus, Xanthi, GR 671 00, Greece
Website | E-Mail
Phone: (+30) 2541079391
Interests: compost quality and compost stability indices; landfill processes; solid waste characterization and decomposition processes; life cycle analysis and mathematical optimization in solid waste management

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

During the past two decades, under the frameworks of sustainability and circular economy, there has been a high legislative focus on the management of organic waste and biowaste to prevent it from landfilling and to promote its valorization. According to two key European directives (1999/31/EC and 2008/98/EC), organic waste needs to be diverted from landfilling at rates higher than 65% and biowaste needs to be separated at the source at levels higher than 10% to up to 50%. The typical hierarchy pyramid on solid waste actions places biological organic waste management techniques on top of the thermal treatment based energy recovery techniques rendering the former (i.e., composting, anaerobic digestion) more attractive to implement. Low technology composting of organic waste at the community or household level (which is highly promoted lately by municipalities) could be considered as a re-use and even a prevention technique, instead of a recycling technique, which would automatically promote it to the highest position of the waste hierarchy. In addition to typical end-of-the pipe treatment methods, much focus has been recently given on valorization techniques that aim to recover useful products during organic waste biological processes (e.g., recovery of enzymes during solid state fermentation, hydrogen production during anaerobiosis, biomass derived bioethanol) in addition to the typical compost and methane recovery. It is, thus, evident that the term “waste” will soon be fully abandoned and be, likely, soon replaced by the term “by-product”.

This Special Issue will focus on biological organic (solid) waste management techniques, as viewed through the prism of circular economy, and will cover the following state-of-the-art topics:

·         Industrial and medium scale MBT facilities.
·         MBT technology: Aerobic versus anaerobic processes.
·         Compost, CLO, digestate and other MBT outputs: Quality aspects and indices.
·         Valorization of organic waste and recovery of useful compounds
·         Organic waste source separation schemes: decentralized vs. centralized schemes
·         Home and community composting
·         Biochar as a soil amendment.
·         Waste-based bioethanol generation
·         Hydrogen production via anaerobic digestion.
·         Life cycle analysis in organic waste management.

Dr. Dimitrios Komilis
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • anaerobic processes
  • biochar
  • bioethanol
  • compost quality indices
  • home composting
  • hydrogen production
  • life cycle analysis
  • MBT technology
  • organic waste collection
  • organic waste valorization

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessReview Immobilization of Heavy Metals in Sewage Sludge during Land Application Process in China: A Review
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 2020; doi:10.3390/su9112020
Received: 10 October 2017 / Revised: 31 October 2017 / Accepted: 31 October 2017 / Published: 7 November 2017
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The safe disposal of sewage sludge during the process of municipal wastewater treatment has become one of the major concerns of increased production. Land application was thought of as a more economical method for sewage sludge disposal than landfill and incineration. However, the
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The safe disposal of sewage sludge during the process of municipal wastewater treatment has become one of the major concerns of increased production. Land application was thought of as a more economical method for sewage sludge disposal than landfill and incineration. However, the presence of heavy metals in sewage sludge restricted the use of land application. The environmental risk of heavy metals was dependent on their contents, chemical speciations, and soil characteristics. Composting and chemical immobilization were the commonly used methods to immobilize the heavy metals in sewage sludge. The immobilization mechanism and speciation transformation of heavy metals during the composting process were presented. Aluminosilicate, phosphorus-bearing materials, basic compounds, and sulfides were reviewed as the commonly used chemical immobilizing agents. The problems that occur during the immobilization process were also discussed. The combination of different methods and the modification of chemical immobilizing agents both improved the fixation effect on heavy metals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organic Waste Management)
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