By Ben Messenger
Managing Editor of Waste Management World magazine
The Confederation of European Waste-to-Energy Plants (CEWEP), along Plastics Europe, the European Suppliers of Waste to Energy Technology (ESWET) and a number of other influential trade bodies, has called for a ban on landfill in a letter to José Manuel Barroso president of the European Commission:
In the current economic climate we support the European Commission’s general approach to focus on ensuring that existing environmental legislation is fully and properly implemented instead of proposing new legislation. However, we believe that there is an untapped potential to increase resource efficiency while at the same time foster growth and competitiveness in Europe
The review of the Landfill Directive in 2014 will provide the opportunity to ban the landfilling of recyclable and combustible waste by the end of the decade. While six EU Member States plus Norway and Switzerland already landfill less than 10% of their municipal waste, many EU Member States continue to rely on landfilling.
Landfilling remains the principal waste management option in those Member States , either because it is seen as being the simplest and cheapest option or, as is most often the case, because there is a lack of governance, decisiveness and local knowledge. The most effective way to phase out landfilling would be for the Commission to call for a ban on the landfilling of recyclable and combustible waste. This will put positive pressure on national and local administrations and will unleash the full potential of waste as a resource as well as act as a powerful trigger for recycling and efficient energy from waste. It will also provide the legal certainty required for future planning and investments in the necessary recycling and energy recovery infrastructure.
While material recycling enables the EU to become more self – sufficient in raw materials for its production facilities, energy recovery should remain a complementary option, in line with the waste hierarchy, in order to realise the full potential of the diverted waste, and thereby expand the diversity of the EU’s energy supply and improve energy security while helping to mitigate climate change. Both should therefore be central to the EU’s energy and resource efficiency strategies
We would like to thank you in advance for promoting the idea of a landfill ban on recyclable and combustible waste as an essential element of the EU’s strategy to recover from the economic crisis.
Source: Waste Management World