Biological Treatment: A Response to the Accumulation of Biosolids

  • Stefan ShilevEmail author
  • Hassan Azaizeh
  • Desislava Angelova


Municipal wastewater treatment produces significant quantities of biosolids, which needs to be managed with respect to the environment, according to the EU and national legislations. In last years, biosolids became a major environmental issue due to increased production, lack of sustainable solutions, and public concern about environmental and food safety. The problem is even more pronounced because of different strategies for management taken up by each country and different disposal methods. In this review chapter, a discussion of the most common solutions has been presented. Conventional methods, such as incineration and landfilling, are currently not very well accepted, while the sludge is rich in organic materials and nutrients and could be used as a fertilizer with appropriate treatment method. In addition, the aerobic and anaerobic digestions are well situated in almost all EU countries and ensure sanitation of the biosolids and significant reduction of heavy metals and greenhouse gas emissions in the resulting by-product, making them environmentally friendly and acceptable by the population. Finally, a case study on composting and vermicomposting of biosolids and biodegradable waste is presented.


Biosolids management Sewage sludge Composting Vermicomposting Legislation Biological treatment 



This paper was partially supported by the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science under the National Research Programme “Healthy Foods for a Strong Bio-Economy and Quality of Life” approved by DCM # 577 / 17.08.2018.

Authors’ Contribution

Study concepts, design, and editing: S. Shilev; Abstract and Introduction: S. Shilev; Sects. 5.2.1, 5.2.2,, and 5.2.4: H. Azaizeh; Sect. 5.2.3: D. Angelova and S. Shilev; Sect. 5.3: D. Angelova and S. Shilev; Conclusion: S. Shilev; Manuscript final version approval: All authors read and approved the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefan Shilev
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hassan Azaizeh
    • 2
    • 3
  • Desislava Angelova
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology and Environmental BiotechnologiesAgricultural University–PlovdivPlovdivBulgaria
  2. 2.Institute of Applied Research (Affiliated with University of Haifa), The Galilee SocietyShefa-AmrIsrael
  3. 3.Department of Environmental ScienceTel Hai CollegeUpper GalileeIsrael

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