Factors for inclusion of wastewater treatment sludgein agri-food chain in Bulgaria

Hrabrin Ianouchev BACHEV, Bozhidar IVANOV


Abstract. The issue of utilization of sludge from wastewater treatment in agriculture is an important socio-economic and environmental problem in the European Union and Bulgaria. It is becoming topical issue along with the growing interests into effective “transformation of wastes into products” and their inclusion in supply chains and circular economy. Despite their relevance, in-depth studies of the diverse effects and critical factors of sludge utilization in Bulgarian agri-food chain are at an early stage. The purpose of this article is to identify and assess the significance of the various factors influencing the effective utilization of sludge from wastewater treatment in Bulgarian agriculture. Based on a qualitative analysis of regulations and institutional structure, and surveys with managers and experts of urban wastewater treatment plants, and farmers using and not-using sludge, the institutional, political, organizational, personal, educational, informational, social, economic, and environmental factors influencing the utilization of sludge in agriculture in two regions of the country (Sofia and Burgas) are identified. Impact factors are generally divided into two types: factors influencing the behavior of agents, and factors determining the type and extent of the effects of sludge use in agriculture. Research of this type is tocontinue and deepen to establish the economic, sectoral and regional specificities on the basis of more representative information from all participants and interested parties in the effective utilization of sludge in the country.

Keywords. Sludge use, Agriculture, Factors, Efficiency, Bulgaria.

JEL. Q12, Q13, Q15, Q18.


Sludge use; Agriculture; Factors; Efficiency; Bulgaria.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1453/jel.v8i3.2232


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