Mechanical-biological waste treatment (MBT)
Mechanical biological waste treatment is applied on mixed organic/carbon rich waste with the aim to achieve 1) a stabilisation and minimisation of the risk potential together with a significant weight and volume reduction through biological decomposition which could count towards the diversion of biodegradable waste from landfill, and in conjunction therewith 2) the processing of the waste in order to generate separate material streams, recover recyclable materials and improve the suitability for subsequent treatment processes.
Barriers and Drivers
Barriers: MBT facilities should have access to the road and transportation network and be close to the places where the relevant wastes are generated or where process residuals will be deposited.
A minimum distance to the nearest residential area should be maintained to avoid any potential nuisances by odours, rodents or other unwanted vermine.
The waste for input has to be non-harzardous.
Drivers: The technology has strongly evolved during the past two decades. Today, there are over 100 plants operating in Europe using some form of mechanical biological treatment on residual wastes. Germany alone has about 50 plants operating above a capacity of 20.000 t/a
MBT offers good opportunities for the employment of both, unskilled and higher qualified personnel. For rather complex processes specially trained and qualified staff to take care for the facility management and operations control is needed.
Mechanical biological treatment comprises a combination of mechanical and biological processes that further treat mixed residual waste before disposal. Thus environmental impacts of deposited waste are minimised and further value from the waste through the recovery of recyclables and, in some cases, energy is gained.
- High-calorific coarse material (MBT) or combustible stabilate (MBS)
- Stabilised rotting material (MBT) or fine fraction (MBS) for landfilling
- Recyclable materials (mainly metals) - the quality of the metals recovered is higher and less contaminated than from the bottom of an incinerator