Anaerobic digestion has captured a significant share of the European market for the biological treatment of the organic fraction in municipal solid waste. Almost 4 million ton per year in digestion capacity has been installed through the construction of more than 120 full-scale plants. Not all plants have been equally successful, due to poor planning, design or bad operation. This, besides higher than expected investment and operating costs, may have slowed down the growth of anaerobic digestion of solid waste. However, an evaluation of the development of anaerobic digestion over the last 15 years shows that there is now a greater diversity in application, a wider range in types of systems and suppliers, and a continued increasing rate of implementation throughout most parts of Europe. New alternative treatment techniques have not seen the same level of success as anaerobic digestion. Anaerobic digestion has been established as a viable treatment technology for the organic fraction of municipal solid waste and will most likely play an even more important role in the future.

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