Closed-Loop Gardening in Flanders

21/05/2012 - Municipalities in the region of Flanders (Belgium) promote closed-loop gardening for their citizens in both urban and rural areas. The action began in 1992 with the development of a comprehensive home composting programme. Over the years, new and additional aspects of bio-waste prevention were included, expanding the programme to its current form.

Cooperation agreements between the participating municipalities form its basis. PAYT-systems serve as an incentive to decrease the amount of (bio-)waste given for collection, while composting courses, home composting demonstration sites and the distribution of subsidised composting tools ensure citizens have the capacity to do so. If necessary, trained volunteers (Master Composters) offer information and assistance. Communication campaigns and events such as the annual ‘June Compost Month’ were implemented to raise awareness for the issue of bio-waste prevention.

The amount of organic waste in the residual fraction dropped dramatically since 1995: from 104kg/inh/y to 46kg/inh/y in 2006. While 68 per cent of citizens practise one or another form of closed-loop gardening (home composting, shredding, mulching, hold chicken, branch walls,…), 41 per cent of them have taken up home composting. As the 2015 target of 42 per cent has thus been almost reached, Flanders now seeks to improve the qualitative aspects of home composting. About 2800 Master Composters (2009) assist the municipalities with this task.

More information about the Flemish Closed-Loop Gardening programme and other case studies can be found in the Miniwaste inventory of good practices.