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May 25th, 2013:

EU waste legislation.pdf

Download PDF : EU waste legislation

The Roadmap – European Commission

The Roadmap

The Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe

The Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe (COM(2011) 571) outlines how we can transform Europe’s economy into a sustainable one by 2050. It proposes ways to increase resource productivity and decouple economic growth from resource use and its environmental impact. It illustrates how policies interrelate and build on each other.

Areas where policy action can make a real difference are a particular focus, and specific bottlenecks like inconsistencies in policy and market failures are tackled to ensure that policies are all going in the same direction. Cross-cutting themes such as addressing prices that do not reflect the real costs of resource use and the need for more long-term innovative thinking are also in the spotlight.

Key resources are analysed from a life-cycle and value-chain perspective. Nutrition, housing and mobility are the sectors responsible for most environmental impacts; actions in these areas are being proposed to complement existing measures.

The Resource Efficiency Roadmap provides a framework in which future actions can be designed and implemented coherently. It sets out a vision for the structural and technological change needed up to 2050, with milestones to be reached by 2020. These milestones illustrate what will be needed to put Europe on a path to resource efficient and sustainable growth.

Read more:

Read the Roadmap (Communication COM(2011) 571)

Read the ‘Analysis associated with the Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europepdf‘ (European Commission Staff Working Paper, SEC(2011) 1067)

Read the annexespdf to the Staff Working Paper

Read the press release Choose translations of the previous link (IP/2011/1046)

The Europe 2020 Strategy

The Resource Efficiency Roadmap is part of the Resource Efficiency Flagship of the Europe 2020 Strategy. The Europe 2020 Strategy is the European Union’s growth strategy for the next decade and aims at establishing a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy with high levels of employment, productivity and social cohesion.

Goldman Prize

Prize Recipient

Rossano Ercolini

2013 Europe


Sustainable Development

In Italy and throughout Europe, incineration has been the leading approach to waste management. Consumerism and production has accelerated this trend, rapidly filling landfills and creating a bigger demand for incinerators.

In 1994, construction plans for an incinerator were proposed in a small town in Tuscany. Yet residents were not informed about the impact of the incinerator. Every year, incinerators remove thousands of tons of material from the recycling stream and burn them, releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and leaving behind toxics that endanger the health of nearby residents.

A teacher at an elementary school not two miles from the proposed incinerator, Rossano Ercolini had heard of cities like San Francisco that were successfully working to eliminate waste. He taught his students to recycle paper and replaced plastic water bottles and plastic utensils in the school lunchroom with pitchers, glasses and silverware.

When Ercolini heard about construction plans for the incinerator, he became concerned about the local residents’ health. He saw his responsibility as an educator to protect students’ well-being and inform the broader community about the incinerator’s risks as well as solutions to sustainably manage the town’s garbage.

Ercolini began organizing town hall meetings in his village, Capannori—the capital of Italy’s paper mill industry—where residents were able to ask questions and get clear answers about the whys and hows of recycling. He brought a bag of mixed waste and demonstrated how to sort out metal, glass and plastic to recycle and food scraps for composting and livestock feed. He brought in scientists, clergy, and other experts to share information about the dangers of incineration as well as the economic and environmental benefits of Zero Waste.

People began to see that it was indeed possible to manage waste without having to rely on incineration. Building on this momentum, Ercolini formed Ambiente e Futuro (Environment and Future) and began mobilizing street protests where citizens demanded authorities to stop plans for the incinerator. In response to the community’s concerns, Lucca’s regional government officials canceled the incinerator’s construction and put Ercolini in charge of developing a waste management plan. He went door to door to get the community’s input on alternatives to the incinerator, empowering them to propose solutions that would work for them. A year later, Capannori began implementing a new collection system that now recycles 82 percent of the city’s waste. The larger province of Lucca is now incinerator-free following the closure of two existing plants, and the government is committed to keeping incinerators out of the province.

Ercolini is also looking at the bigger picture, working with companies to use packaging that produces less waste. For example, he’s collaborating with Italy’s largest manufacturer of coffee products, Lavazza, to develop reusable versions of single-use espresso capsules. He is also promoting Zero Waste as an opportunity to create jobs, where young people are trained to refurbish durable goods or break them down to recover metals and other material.

Capannori became a springboard for the nation’s Zero Waste movement, which soon grew to include Naples—a strategic location given its dysfunctional waste collection system that left garbage piling up and burning on the streets. Ercolini successfully proposed the city to host Zero Waste International Alliance’s 2009 global meeting. A few months later, the city of Naples joined Capannori in adopting Zero Waste.

Thanks to the grassroots campaign led by Ercolini educating communities on the merits of Zero Waste, 40 incinerators have been scrapped or shut down and 117 municipalities (home to more than 3 million residents) have joined Capannori in adopting a goal of  Zero Waste. In November 2012, for the first time in Europe, the small but affluent region of Aosta passed a referendum banning incineration with overwhelming support from 90 percent of votersErcolini’s efforts have sparked the beginning of a Zero Waste network throughout Europe, with countries such as England, Estonia, Spain, and Denmark following Italy’s lead.

Mining, pelletizing and gasifying waste at Philippine landfill

Mining, pelletizing and gasifying waste at Philippine landfill

A Philippines-based waste to energy company, True Green Energy Group (TGEG), has successfully tested the Material Recycling Facility (MRF), shedder and pelletizng machine at the country’s San Fernando landfill site.

According to the company its facility will reduce landfill waste and create a pelletized feedstock for its gasification based waste to energy system.

First, waste materials that are combustible, such as paper, plastic, food, wood, and agricultural materials, are dried and shredded. The company said that while metal are removed for recycling, the gasification system will still work if some contamination from these materials is present in the feedstock.

Next, the shredded trash is turned into fuel pellets which TGEG said is done by using a special high temperature gasification process to decompose the pellets in a controlled manner.

The company claimed that while about 5 per cent of the pelletized material ends up as ash, the rest is converted into a syngas (mostly hydrogen and carbon monoxide) that is similar to natural gas, but with a lower energy content. The resulting gas is burned in a highly efficient micro turbine to generate electricity.

Pelletizing waste

According to the company, the process of manufacturing fuel pellets involves placing ground biomass under high pressure and forcing it through a round opening called a “die.”

When exposed to the appropriate conditions, the biomass “fuses” together, forming a solid mass. This process is known as “extrusion.” Some biomass (primarily wood) naturally forms high-quality fuel pellets, while other types of biomass may need additives to serve as a “binder” that holds the pellet together.

A roller is used to compress the biomass against a heated metal plate called a “die.” The die includes several small holes drilled through it, which allow the biomass to be squeezed through under high temperature and pressure conditions.

If the conditions are right, the biomass particles will fuse into a solid mass, thus turning into a pellet. A blade is typically used to slice the pellet to a predefined length as it exits the die. Some biomass tends to fuse together better than other biomass.

The proper combination of input material properties and pelleting equipment operation may minimise or eliminate this problem. The company said that it is also possible to add a “binder” material – as it is doing with its biomass to help it stick together.

As they leave the die the pellets are quite hot (around 150 degrees C) and fairly soft. Therefore, they must be cooled and dried before they are ready for use. This is usually achieved by blowing air through the pellets as they sit in a metal bin. The final moisture content of the pellets should be no higher than 8 per cent.

The standard shape of a TGEG fuel pellet is cylindrical, with a diameter of 6 to 8 millimetres and a length of no more than 38 millimetres.

Most common pellets currently on the market must have an ash content of less than 1 per cent, whereas “standard” pellets may have as much as 2 per cent ash, explained the company. All pellets should have chloride levels of less than 300 parts per million and no more than 0.5 per cent of fines (dust).

The company said that 1 tonne of its biomass pellets will cost approximately $165 and that it estimates that the facility at the landfill site in San Fernando is capable of pelletizing between 300 to 1000 tonnes per day.

Additionally, the company said that waste already stored below ground at the landfill will be mined and additional pelletizing equipment installed at the landfill.

Related News & Opinion

Wong Kam-sing releases rubbish warning

CTA: so where would we put the bottom ash and where we would we treat the 7% fly ash (30% ash daily by weight of what they intend to incinerate ??)

Wong Kam-sing releases rubbish warning


The Environment Secretary Wong Kam-sing has warned that it won’t be long before Hong Kong is “surrounded by rubbish” if landfills are not expanded.

The current three landfills, in Tuen Mun, Ta Kwu Ling and Tseung Kwan O, are expected to be full by 2020.

Mr Wong described such facilities as indispensable and said the territory needed to expand the current three before an incinerator is ready.

Speaking to reporters after taking part in a RTHK programme, Mr Wong called on residents living near the landfills, who are opposing the expansion, to consider Hong Kong’s overall interests.

Low Carbon Fuel for BA Planes from London’s Waste (Greensky)

Low Carbon Fuel for BA Planes from London’s Waste (Greensky)

London, United Kingdom

British Airways planes will be able to fly with low carbon biofuel, thanks to the GreenSky project, a partnership with clean technology company Solena, supported by ARCADIS.

GreenSky will build the first plant in Europe to convert carbon-rich waste normally bound for landfill into sustainable bio fuel for the aviation industry. The project value is circa £220m including land, process and plant costs and is targeted to be complete in 2014. It will generate more than double the fuel needed to power all British Airways flights at London City Airport.

The plant will be located on a disused industrial site in the London conurbation where feedstock supply is readily available. When complete, the carbon reclamation and conditioning plant will convert 500,000 tonnes of carbon-based material per year into 16 million gallons of jet fuel. The process offers lifecycle greenhouse gas savings of up to 95% compared to fossil fuel derived kerosene. The plant will also provide 40 megawatt of power back into the ‘grid’ from surplus energy.

ARCADIS has been appointed as principal consultant to advise on and manage the delivery of the project. This covers development management, project and cost management, environmental planning and permitting advice and health and safety.

Unbiased ruling for island waste site

Download PDF : LettEdComment

Unbiased ruling for island waste site

Published on South China Morning Post (

Home > Unbiased ruling for island waste site

Unbiased ruling for island waste site

Saturday, 25 May, 2013, 12:00am


I read with interest the articles in Lai See about which technology is best to treat Hong Kong’s municipal waste.

Experts are quoted advocating both “traditional” mass burning incinerators and more recent “plasma” gasification technologies. The vast majority of Hong Kong people simply do not have the knowledge to judge, but they do have deep suspicions about the government’s case to locate the first such facility in one of Hong Kong’s last remaining unspoilt landscapes.

Who in their right mind would select a pristine coastline as the preferred site for a large industrial plant if alternative locations exist, which they clearly do – the three existing landfills being the most logical? This also ignores two other key points, namely that the site at the unspoilt island of Shek Kwu Chau will cost every taxpayer more than other options and take longer to bring into operation.

The case for selecting Shek Kwu Chau is flawed and suspicions over the government’s motives will remain.

The flaws are clear: cost, time and a completely unsuitable location. What responsible planning authority would approve a 13.65 hectare reclamation for an incinerator immediately adjacent to a coastal protection zone, upon which, according to the outline zoning plan, “only development that is needed to support the conservation of the existing natural landscape or scenic quality of the area … will be permitted”.

The government stubbornly refuses to consider these arguments and persists with lame excuses, including the most ridiculous of all, a “balanced distribution of waste facilities” – meaning, if an area has not yet been ruined, it is only fair that it should now be ruined.

Hong Kong, unlike any other city in the region, is blessed with a stunning cityscape, a splendid harbour and some magnificent landscape, all compressed into a tiny area and easily accessible to all Hongkongers. The few remaining areas of outstanding natural beauty such as South Lantau (including Shek Kwu Chau) are for all Hong Kong people to enjoy and should be preserved for future generations.

The government must break from the previous administration to show that it genuinely represents the best interests of Hong Kong citizens. One way to restart the debate is to invite a truly independent expert to review the options.

Internationally recognised organisations should be invited to study the options and present unbiased findings before any commitments are made and any works are started.

Continued reliance on the Environmental Protection Department and its own consultants is unacceptable.

Gina Chan Fung-chun, Sai Wan Ho


Shek Kwu Chau

Waste site


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