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European Parliament decisions

European Parliament info


Calls on the Commission to streamline the waste acquisition, taking into account the waste hierarchy and the need to bring residual waste close to zero; calls on the Commission, therefore, to make proposals by 2014 with a view to gradually introducing a general ban on waste landfill at European level and for the phasing-out, by the end of this decade, of incineration of recyclable and compostable waste; this should be accompanied by appropriate transition measures including the further development of common standards based on life-cycle thinking; calls on the Commission to revise the 2020 recycling targets of the Waste Framework Directive; is of the opinion that a landfill tax – as has already been introduced by some Member States – could also help achieve the above ends;


As reported in LetsRecycle, Frans Beckers of the Van Gansewinkel Group waste business has stated that the company closed down an incinerator due to overcapacity and advised others to do the same:

We closed one of our incineration plants in the Rotterdam area. There is overcapacity in Germany and we hope some of our colleagues will follow suit. We hope more [incineration] capacity will be taken out of the market. In the end we could harm recycling performance.

Beckers also claimed that these problems also relate to biomass, stating that: “There is a lack of fuels. Too much is being burnt. We need to ensure we do not invest in too many biomass energy installations as we won’t have the fuel any more”.

In the same article Michel Sponar, policy officer with the European Commission’s environment directorate, is also reported as saying that “member states such as Germany and Denmark which are heavily reliant on incineration need to change their focus too, by sending more waste for recycling and composting”.

These comments should be set in the context of the Environment Agency recently granting SITA a permit to export 600,000 tonnes of UK RDF to Amsterdam, a quadrupling of RDF export licenses; calls from the European Commission for the UK to avoid sending recycable material to incineration and the European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment calling for “the phasing-out, by the end of this decade, of incineration of recyclable and compostable waste”.

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