- 24/03/2014 Ends article "Call for stepwise approach to higher recycling"

The association representing the EU’s public waste management sector has called for yearly intermediate targets to help member states that still landfilled over 40% of their waste in 2012 achieve greater recycling rates.

These countries will need clear and realistic deadlines and close monitoring by the European Commission with help available to them if they are not on track, Municipal Waste Europe said in a letter to environment commissioner Janez Poto─Źnik.

The Commission’s environment department is in the final stages of drafting its waste policy package, which stakeholders expect in May. It may propose an overall recycling target of up to 70% and a landfill ban.

The association also hopes its views on how to improve waste management will be taken into account as the European panel on resource efficiency meets in Brussels on 31 March to finalise its recommendations.

In addition to setting intermediate targets for laggards, Municipal Waste Europe said a higher use of energy from waste should be allowed in some countries, depending on environmental, climatic and economic conditions.

In particular, EU law should recognise regional differences in the composition of waste. The fact that waste generated in southern Europe has a higher biowaste fraction – 40-60% as opposed to 10-30% in northern countries – “makes anaerobic digestion with energy recovery a regional best available technique”, it notes.

A clearer definition of municipal waste and a single recycling calculation method is also of paramount importance, as well as a good working relationship between producer responsibility organisations and municipalities, adds the association.

Its secretary general Vanya Veras said she noticed a “significant change in consciousness” over the past 12 months, with both sides now having a better understanding and recognition their respective roles.

Follow Up:
Letter to Mr Poto─Źnik

- 18/03/2014, Municipal Waste Europe Secretary General speaking at Euractiv conference on "Towards a Resource Efficient Europe - EPR for packaging waste"

- 15/01/2014, "Coherent awareness campaigns key to cutting EU waste", Interview to Municipal Waste Europe's Secretary General Vanya Veras.

- June 2012, Article "Reducing waste through behaviour change" (page 135-137) by Vanya Veras, Secretary General of Municipal Waste Europe.

- 8/05/2012 Article "Misleading figures on recycling" by RenoSam, Danish association of inter-municipal waste management companies.