Food waste, among the organic wastes, is one of the most promising substrates to be used as a renewable resource. Wide availability of food waste and the high greenhouse gas impacts derived from its inappropriate disposal, boost research through food waste valorization. Several innovative technologies are applied nowadays, mainly focused on bioenergy and bioresource recovery, within a circular economy approach. Nevertheless, food waste treatment should be evaluated in terms of sustainability and considering the availability of an optimized separate collection and a suitable treatment facility. Anaerobic codigestion of waste-activated sludge with food waste is a way to fully utilize available anaerobic digestion plants, increasing biogas production, energy, and nutrient recovery and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Codigestion implementation in Europe is explored and discussed in this paper, taking into account different food waste collection approaches in relation to anaerobic digestion treatment and confirming the sustainability of the anaerobic process based on case studies. Household food waste disposal implementation is also analyzed, and the results show that such a waste management system is able to reduce GHG emissions due to transport reduction and increase wastewater treatment performance.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.