The European Union (EU) is one of the major producers of municipal solid wastes and has a common policy based on circular economy to reuse the wastes. However, there are differences between countries and the methods for disposal and treatments. Municipal solid waste (MSW) can be composted and recycled as a source of plant nutrients and improves soil properties. This chapter analyzed the production in the EU and the effects on plant nutrients and environmental pollutants when MSW is added to the soil. The origin of the waste and the compost-like output (CLO) derived is important to determine the expectative of nutrient availability and other possible risks. MSW is so heterogeneous, but after a good pretreatment, an organic-rich matter mix can be composted giving a stabilized organic matter. The addition of the CLO to the soils can improve the nutrient status and favor the bioavailability of nutrients (macronutrients and micronutrients). In general, an increment of N and P was found in the soils. Moreover, important micronutrient availability (Fe, Mn, Cu, and Zn) has been described. However, the presence of pollutants and their mobility should be considered as an environmental risk.
Part of the book: Municipal Solid Waste Management