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Wales mulls biowaste landfill, incineration ban

Wales mulls biowaste landfill, incineration ban

Wales may ban sending food and garden waste to landfill and for incineration, after a food waste collection service was rolled out to 90% of households.

The success of the food waste collection service has eliminated odour and vermin problems. This means the Welsh government will be able to cut the frequency of residual household waste collections to just once a month in the near future, an official said at a conference last week.

The government will publish a white paper on its plans in the autumn, he added.

The European Commission is considering a ban on sending compostable waste to landfill as part of a wide-ranging review of EU waste law now underway. A ban on landfilling waste that has not been pre-treated to eliminate methane emissions was also mooted in a recently launched EU consultation.

Sweden implemented a ban on sending organic waste to landfill in 2005. The measure has been a “major catalyst” for the diversion of municipal solid waste from landfill, according to the European Environment Agency.

Germany plans to have nationwide collection of biodegradable waste in place by 2015, which will enable diversion of almost all organic waste to composting or anaerobic digestion, a spokeswoman for the European Compost Network said. Across the EU, only 29% of biowaste is collected separately, she added.

Wales will invest around €60m in anaerobic digestion facilities to treat the 150,000 tonnes of food waste the country produces annually, the official said. The facilities will generate 60 megawatts of renewable energy. A new 11,000t plant will open later this year, with a second 22,500t plant to begin operation next spring.

In neighbouring England, central government is spending almost €300m on a controversial scheme to help cash-strapped local authorities to continue to provide weekly residual waste collections. Central government says the measure is necessary from a public health perspective.

But some local authorities are using the money to trial food-waste composting services as an alternative.

Follow Up:

Welsh government waste and recycling

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