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EU Commission to adopt EfW communication this year

The EU Commission is hoping to adopt a communication on energy from waste (EfW) by the end of this year, according to environment commissioner Karmenu Vella.

Vella described EfW as having “considerable potential”, and said the communication would address how the technology can be optimised without compromising higher reuse and recycling rates and with regard to the waste hierarchy.

He said it was too early to go into details: “When we reduce landfilling, increase separate collection and strive for higher recycling rates, we can probably expect to send more than 20% of combustible and non-recyclable municipal waste to the EfW processes,” he told an Inter-Parliamentary meeting on energy and the circular economy (CE) on 4 April in The Hague, Netherlands.

Vella also called on MEPs to do more to help drive the CE package, which is currently passing through the European Parliament.

“The first is scaling up good examples. You can ask your colleagues in regional and local authorities to look for the ’best in class’ within your national borders, and to replicate and repeat these solutions where possible. This is particularly important for long-term infrastructure investment.

“Secondly, you can work with businesses and help them to draw down European funding. They need your expertise to help the promise of European funding become a reality.

“And finally, as parliamentarians, you can look closely at the economic and fiscal incentives suggested in the package. Taxes on labour are not always the best way forward – environmental taxes, for example, can even lead to higher employment.”

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