WASTE MANAGEMENT

What does waste management mean?
Waste management aims to prevent or reduce their harmful effects on human health and the environment and is carried out in accordance with requirements of regulations on:
  • protection of water, air, soil, plants and animals;
  • noise and odours;
  • protection of the natural environment and places that are subject to special protection.
Waste management means:
  • the collection;
  • transport;
  • recovery (including sorting);
  • and disposal of waste;
  • including the supervision of such operations and the after-care of disposal sites;
  • and including actions taken as a dealer or broker

Waste hierarchy
The waste hierarchy is a priority order in waste prevention and management legislation and policy:
  • prevention;
  • preparing for re-use;
  • recycling;
  • other recovery, e.g. energy recovery; and
  • disposal.
The waste hierarchy is represented by an inverted pyramid where the activities with the highest priority are on the top.
Some specific waste streams may be departed from the hierarchy where this is justified by life-cycle thinking on the overall impacts of the generation and management of such waste.

Implementation of waste hierarchy shall take into account the general environmental protection principles of precaution and sustainability, technical feasibility and economic viability, protection of resources as well as the overall environmental, human health, economic and social impacts.

Examples of economic instruments to provide incentives for the application of the waste hierarchy:
  • Extended producer responsibility schemes for various types of waste and measures to increase their effectiveness, cost efficiency and governance;
  • Deposit-refund schemes and other measures to encourage efficient collection of used products and materials;
  • Sound planning of investments in waste management infrastructure, including through Union funds;
  • Sustainable public procurement to encourage better waste management and the use of recycled products and materials;
  • Phasing out of subsidies which are not consistent with the waste hierarchy;
  • Support to research and innovation in advanced recycling technologies and remanufacturing;

Treatment of waste
The term “waste treatment” includes activities with waste, which are divided into two main groups – recovery and disposal, including preparation before recovery or disposal.

Recycling
Recycling means any recovery operation by which waste materials are reprocessed into products, materials or substances whether for the original or other purposes. It includes the reprocessing of organic material but does not include energy recovery and the reprocessing into materials that are to be used as fuels or for backfilling operations.

Recovery

Recovery means any operation the principal result of which is waste serving a useful purpose by replacing other materials which would otherwise have been used to fulfil a particular function, or waste being prepared to fulfil that function, in the plant or in the wider economy.

Material recovery means any recovery operation, other than energy recovery and the reprocessing into materials that are to be used as fuels or other means to generate energy. It includes, inter alia, preparing for re-use, recycling and backfilling.

Recovery operations (code R 1-13):
  • R 1 Use principally as a fuel or other means to generate energy (This includes incineration facilities dedicated to the processing of municipal solid waste if their energy efficiency is equal to certain criteria.)
  • R 2 Solvent reclamation/regeneration
  • R 3 Recycling/reclamation of organic substances which are not used as solvents (including composting and other biological transformation processes) (This includes preparing for re-use, gasification and pyrolysis using the components as chemicals and recovery of organic materials in the form of backfilling.)
  • R 4 Recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds (This includes preparing for re-use.)
  • R 5 Recycling/reclamation of other inorganic materials (This includes preparing for re-use, recycling of inorganic construction materials, recovery of inorganic materials in the form of backfilling, and soil cleaning resulting in recovery of the soil.)
  • R 6 Regeneration of acids or bases
  • R 7 Recovery of components used for pollution abatement
  • R 8 Recovery of components from catalysts
  • R 9 Oil re-refining or other reuses of oil
  • R 10 Land treatment resulting in benefit to agriculture or ecological improvement
  • R 11 Use of waste obtained from any of the operations numbered R 1 to R 10
  • R 12 Exchange of waste for submission to any of the operations numbered R 1 to R 11
  • R 13 Storage of waste pending any of the operations numbered R 1 to R 12 (excluding temporary storage, pending collection, on the site where the waste is produced)

Disposal

Disposal means any operation which is not recovery even where the operation has as a secondary consequence the reclamation of substances or energy. Annex I sets out a non-exhaustive list of disposal operations.

Disposal operations (code D 1 – 15):
  • D 1 Deposit into or on to land (e.g. landfill, etc.)
  • D 2 Land treatment (e.g. biodegradation of liquid or sludgy discards in soils, etc.)
  • D 3 Deep injection (e.g. injection of pumpable discards into wells, salt domes or naturally occurring repositories, etc.)
  • D 4 Surface impoundment (e.g. placement of liquid or sludgy discards into pits, ponds or lagoons, etc.)
  • D 5 Specially engineered landfill (e.g. placement into lined discrete cells which are capped and isolated from one another and the environment, etc.)
  • D 6 Release into a water body except seas/oceans
  • D 7 Release to seas/oceans including sea-bed insertion
  • D 8 Biological treatment not specified elsewhere in this Annex which results in final compounds or mixtures which are discarded by means of any of the operations numbered D 1 to D 12
  • D 9 Physico-chemical treatment not specified elsewhere in this Annex which results in final compounds or mixtures which are discarded by means of any of the operations numbered D 1 to D 12 (e.g. evaporation, drying, calcination, etc.)
  • D 10 Incineration on land
  • D 11 Incineration at sea (This operation is prohibited by EU legislation and international conventions.)
  • D 12 Permanent storage (e.g. emplacement of containers in a mine, etc.)
  • D 13 Blending or mixing prior to submission to any of the operations numbered D 1 to D 12
  • D 14 Repackaging prior to submission to any of the operations numbered D 1 to D 13
  • D 15 Storage pending any of the operations numbered D 1 to D 14 (excluding temporary storage, pending collection, on the site where the waste is produced)

Fee for waste management
More information about municipal waste tax see here.