Title: Sewage sludge management in Europe: a critical analysis of data quality

Authors: Augusto Bianchini; Luca Bonfiglioli; Marco Pellegrini; Cesare Saccani

Addresses: Department of Industrial Engineering, Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna, Viale Risorgimento 2, 40100, Bologna, Italy ' Department of Industrial Engineering, Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna, Viale Risorgimento 2, 40100, Bologna, Italy ' Department of Industrial Engineering, Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna, Viale Risorgimento 2, 40100, Bologna, Italy ' Department of Industrial Engineering, Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna, Viale Risorgimento 2, 40100, Bologna, Italy

Abstract: The paper analyses the way numerical data on sewage sludge quantities are recorded, processed and then reported at EU level. The analysed data are the same used by policy makers as official sources. The paper shows the difficulties found during the comparison of EU member states management systems, starting from lack of homogeneity and the fragmentation of the data. Reliable data about sewage sludge production and disposal are indispensable to make a critical analysis and also to realise adjustments and changes to the existing management models as well as in the implementation of European policies, such as the Sewage Sludge Directive or the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive. Moreover, starting from a critical analysis of EU data, the paper shows how sewage sludge management is dealt by EU countries. Finally, the paper suggests to policy makers some implementation for the data management system in order to reach a higher data reliability.

Keywords: data analysis; data quality; sewage sludge management; European Union; EU member states; legislative framework; wastewater treatment; data management; data reliability.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEWM.2016.080795

International Journal of Environment and Waste Management, 2016 Vol.18 No.3, pp.226 - 238

Received: 29 Oct 2015
Accepted: 01 Aug 2016

Published online: 02 Dec 2016 *

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